Friday, July 18, 2008

Sunshine and Rain

I had to look in the paper today to see what time the funeral is for Teddy's friend Andrew, who died in his sleep earlier this week. Isn't that just wrong? In the past few months this is the THIRD time we have had to do this for a CHILD. Like I is wrong.

On a regular day in April I got an email from my friend Amy. I had babysat for her oldest son, Trevor, for 2 years before I had Janey, and until she had her second child. After that Amy's family grew by 2 more, and we both settled into the hectic life of 4 kids. Really, most of our contact had been through email and Christmas cards. A month before Christmas last year I got a great email from her. It was a picture of their family and their brand new baby (#4) Jeremy. The whole family looked joyous. The latest email was as far from that as you can imagine. Amy and Scott were sending out a desperate plea for prayers for Jeremy. He had been in the ER for dehydration and went into cardiac arrest. I can't do Jeremy's story justice in a few sentence, so for those of you who have not been, please visit Jeremy's site @

During this time it was time to get the garden ready, and I really didn't have the usual motivation. Jeremy was in the hospital, my oldest friend's mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was having a lot of health issues myself. I was so mad this stuff was happening, and it really got the weeds out and the soil turned!! But at the thought of putting my vegetables in....I hit a wall. The same thing would happen as always...we would get 4 or 5 cucumbers, the tomatoes would get worms, the eggplant NEVER grow, and the peppers are always bitter. It gets overgrown, and full of pests, Bugs, worms, blight. So silly, but I just could not do it. I wanted to see something hopeful. I decided to fill the whole darn thing with flowers. Each day Janey and I went to flower stores in the area. We went to the Home Depot to buy plants and drove through Catonsville to see the blue ribbons that were hung everywhere in support of Jeremy and the Morse's. I let Jane pick whatever her heart desired. All colors, all kinds. And then we came home and planted. And with each plant I prayed. Please heal Jeremy.Please help Amy. Please give Scott strength. Please let the kids be ok. Please FIX things. And on and on. On a hot Sunday afternoon, June 8, Julian's 9th birthday, Jeremy lost his fight.

The day of Jeremy's viewing our caterpillar cocoon hatched and we let our brand new butterfly free into this crazy garden. A garden of hope. It didn't feel so hopeful. The girls didn't understand why watching him fly away would make me cry. In the hospital Jeremy had a banner in his room saying "Rays of Sunshine, Jeremy, Rays of Sunshine." In his time on earth he had become a ray of sunshine to many. It was so sad.

The next couple of weeks I neglected the garden. Finally, I needed to weed and water, and I was amazed at how much had changed. It was in full bloom, and even though Steve said it would end up being the craziest looking thing ever, it was beautiful. And right in the middle something was growing that I did not plant. I didn't even buy seeds for. The biggest, tallest, strongest sunflower I have ever seen. It kept getting taller, but no heads were even close to opening. I took a picture of Janey next to it on July 6, so I know this to be true. On July 8 Amy and Scott and the kids were in my thoughts even more than normal. One month since Jeremy had been gone. The first "anniversary" of many.

I could not believe what I saw when I went out to water. There opened at the very top ( of a plant I did not plant ) was a beautiful sunflower.
Sometimes it is inconceivable how to get through the day. One foot in front of the other, minute by minute, sometimes, many times, only by the grace of God. And sometimes you find a little ray of sunshine. It may be small, but it is something. And sometimes all you can ask for is a little something. I have been so sad for my friends. I can't imagine their pain, but I know what it is like to have to function through grief. I think of them every single day. I hope.... so many things. But mostly that they know how much Jeremy touched my life, and how I wish things were different. This is a quote from the eulogy Scott read at the funeral: "Our time here, whether 6 months or 100 years, is just a speck of time. Let us not waste it being frustrated by earthly things. Live well, laugh often, love much, and give thanks to God - life goes by too fast." Hug Your kids. Appreciate your life. We all forget, but it can change in a moment. And always, always be on the lookout for those rays of sunshine.

1 comment:

gnomegarden said...

*sob* Very loverly indeed.
xo dd