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Friday, August 10, 2012

GRIEVING BUT STILL AROUND BY THE GRACE OF GOD...

It has been quite some time since I blogged last.  I have had no desire to blog until now and even now, it's not easy. In fact, I haven't blogged since the reminders for the Celebration service which was absolutely beautiful and touching. I will try to upload the slide show and other portions of the moving tribute to Andrew.   Just looking at the home page of this blog is painful, looking at Andrew's beautiful face.  PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR NOT WRITING THANK YOU CARDS FOR THOSE THAT SENT BEAUTIFUL CARDS OF SUPPORT AND SYMPATHY AND DONATIONS! I PROMISE TO SEND THOSE OUT SOON.  I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND, IT JUST HAS BEEN HARD TO DO ANYTHING.

Jennifer and I took a vacation to Jamaica alone a week after the celebration service to recoup and get away, all provided by my wonderful brother Albert and sister-in-law Jennifer, while Bry was in Virginia with the Lee's and the Lippicott's.  We are so thankful Bry was able to spend such valuable time with her loving Aunts, Uncles and cousins.  Emily was and has been busy with cheerleading practice and camp and traveling to the west coast with her mom.  Emily was chosen to cheer for the j.v. squad as a freshman for the football season.  She was happy to say the least.  Jennifer, Bry and I decided to take a last minute road trip, literally last minute, to the west coast.  We stayed with my cousin Sunny in southern California and had a chance to see my brother, cousins and nephews and nieces.  As I have told you before, our family is quite strong and close and meeting with them helped us with our grieving by celebrating who Andrew was and what he meant to us all.

 As we closed in on the Illinois border on our way back, I started to get really sad.  Coming home meant that we had to pick up the pieces of what has happened the past month and a half.  It meant coming home to the memories of Andrew at our place.  It meant that we had to face many painful things.  I have wondered if I was running away from the grieving process and I concluded that I have not.  That's not like me.  I usually let my emotions out and try to process things, but in this case I (we) needed to get away.  But the reality is my son is dead and my grieving will take some time.  I haven't cried like have cried the past few days.  Everything reminds me of him.  I have wailed and cried uncontrollably and it hurts so much.  For those that have lost a child, you can relate, but if you haven't, it really stinks!

The funny things is, unlike my divorce, I haven't asked why this has happened. I know that there is a sovereign plan placed by my heavily father even in the midst of sickness and death.  But it still stings like a !?@#%!  But I must tell you, I have felt anger the past few days.  My son is dead and I have felt the anger which is part of the grieving process.  Because of my faith in Jesus Christ and the eternal life I am guaranteed by it,  I have the hope to move through the grief.  My soul longs for God, His grace and to go home to be with Him and Andrew.  Psalm 42 reminds me of how I feel:

 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, "Where is your God?" 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help 6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts; all your waves and your billows have gone over me. 8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God, my rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?" 10 As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, "Where is your God?" 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

Finally, I implore you all for those who have not signed up to be a potential bone marrow donor to do so in a ridiculously easy process at bethematch.org!  Press here!  Our wonderful friends, the Lim's, need a life saving bone marrow transplant for their son Connor.  I am sure most of you who have followed this blog know of Connor's plight and the failed bone marrow transplant. You know of the special bond we have forged the past 6 months.   Patients like Connor need you more than ever to be proactive and live out your faith and words by registering.  

This is more than I intended to write, so I will leave you with a poem I wrote at Zuma Beach in Malibu, one of my favorite places on earth.  I hope you enjoy it.


Malibu...
I Can’t Wait…

I can’t wait ‘till I see your beautiful face again Andrew.
The simple grin that made me so proud,
Oh so unassuming in nature but oh so loud.

I can’t wait to hear you say, “Daddy, I love you” again.
In your lifetime your words were select and few,
But you made those words count and that’s how perfectly God made you.

I can’t wait to talk about anything and everything again.
You were not only my son, but also my buddy and my friend,
Someone I could count on until the very very end.

I can’t wait to see an opening day game together again.
As father and son we saw our share and cheered our teams on,
But in heaven we will be on God’s heavenly team with all sickness, death and sin gone.

I can’t wait to see the stars together again.
On earth you looked into the nighttime sky with a childlike gaze,
In heaven one day, we will explore so many galaxies it will be like a daze.

I miss you my son and I can’t wait…

***I HAVE A SPECIAL REQUEST.  IF YOU READ THIS POST, CAN YOU SHARE AN ENCOURAGING WORD OR TWO.  I KNOW WE HAVE A THRONG OF SUPPORTERS OUT THERE, BUT FOR ME, IT WOULD BE NICE TO READ WORD OF SUPPORT AND LOVE.   If you receive these messages via email, goto the blog site and then leave a comment at the end of the blog post.

xoxoxo,
Joe








20 comments:

  1. Joe, I am sending you and your family love and light. And big hugs.
    Jennie

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  2. Even during this very difficult time, your faith is inspiring and encouraging. Will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer.

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  3. Hey Joe,

    Your strength is an inspiration to all of us..
    Lots of love,

    Slavko

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  4. Dear Joe,

    Be gentle with yourself. There's no need to apologize for not blogging or sending out thank yous. People understand.

    I'm glad you and your family are close and have each other.

    I continue to think about you and your family. Your strength and grace are truly an inspiration.

    Remember that grief is not linear; you'll go in and out of these different emotions for a while.

    Please take care.

    -Christine Rohan

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  5. I am reminded of Andrew day in and day out by little things from our childhood together. I pray for your family Mr. Park and that all will be well for you. You are the strongest man I've ever met and I have faith that you will continue to be so strong and so brave in this time of grieving.

    Love,

    Tanner Makris

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  6. Hi,

    I don't know you or your family personally. I happened to stumble across this blog through mutual Calvary friends, and I have been blessed to follow your family's journey and privileged to participate in praying, rejoicing, grieving, and hoping together in this family of Christ. Although I grieve your loss and wish it did not have to "conclude" this way (I put "conclude" in quotation marks because it truly isn't!), I am blessed because I see your love for Andrew, your anger for Andrew's passing, your hope to see him again--all glimpses of God's immense, unstoppable, immeasurable love for His children; His righteous anger at injustice, sin, and our broken relationship because of sin; and the hope that He gives us in Christ...all things that display His love for us even in the face of sin, grief, injustice, etc. The LORD, our Lord, our Father loves you very much (I'm sure you know this, but it helps to be reminded sometimes :))... praying for continued strength and grace and comfort for you and your family.

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  7. Dearest Jennifer and Joe --
    We have been thinking about you constantly; thank you so much for this latest blog posting. Our hearts are with you. We are so proud of you, and we love you!
    LynnFrankLaurenKendall

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  8. Gregg Peters FamilyAugust 11, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Beautiful poem, Joe! We came out of Andrew's memorial service so filled with the love and strength that Andrew's bond had on all of our community. He and his memory will be a shining star for ever in our hearts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, love, frustrations and continued faith with us so freely. You and your family are an inspiration for all.

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  9. I just wanted to share the story of my favorite hymn, It is Well With My Soul. It was written by Horatio Spafford, a wealthy lawyer from Chicago. This dude was super paid and well respected. He not only lost his only son to scarlet fever and all of his money and property in the great chicago fire. The following year, his four daughters died in a boat accident. While on a ship in the area where his daughters drown, he sat in his room and penned this hymn.

    When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    I know I can never understand the pain and sorrow you are feeling. But I was inspired by this story and I thought it might do a little in helping comfort you.

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  10. Joe,
    You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers. Grieving is so hard an painful- its "double over" pain. And it does get easier in time. Time heals all souls. I know that His will for me is to keep on living- happy joyous and free! To be able to carry on he spirit and memories of loved ones passed. You have such a message of hope and inspiration. Please don't stop posting!! I admire your honesty, and strength.

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  11. Joe, my heart goes out to you and your family. Throughout all of this, may Jesus be your bedrock. The Lord watches over you. Psalm 121

    David Kim

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  12. You are the strongest person I know. I don't know anyone who could handle this tragedy better than you do and I hope you know how inspiring you've been to all of us. I hope to grow up to be the kind of parent you are, because no matter what, the love for your son is bigger than anything in life ever could be.

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  13. Dear Joe,
    We have never met. I found your blog after reading Connor's blog. I pray often for you and your family. I encourage you to continue to blog when you feel led. Last November, my (very active) dad was in an accident that left him paralyzed. He continues to blog his journey, and it has been very therapeutic for him. It also helps those who love him know how to pray for him and my mom.
    Blessings to you.

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  14. Please be assured of my prayers. Your faith and Andrew's life have inspired many. I pray that you will find God's loving hand comforting you.

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  15. Please know you and your family are being lifted up in prayer daily. Your blog has been such an encouragement to our family and while your faith will sustain you, we know you are grieving deeply. May God continue to comfort you in the days, weeks and months ahead.

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  16. Dear Joe,
    It's so hard for me to write anything because I feel as though I get so much strength, wisdom, and encouragement from you.. and my words to you just would not convey how much you have given me with your unending faith and love. Please know.. if there were words or a gesture to help heal you and family I would do it in a heartbeat.

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  17. May God show His Glory in a special way today and shine His light into your soul. You are Loved.

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  18. Mr. Park,
    My name is Abby Gurka and I'm going to be a junior this year, Andrew was in my Spanish class last school year and as I have heard from many others who knew him better than I, he truly had an infectious smile. He was so kind and friendly in class and I haven't really met anyone quite like him. Your blogs are so heartfelt and I have been following them since I met Andrew this year, I just wanted to tell you I've been praying for you guys since the beginning and I continue to. Best of luck to you and your family. I really do miss Andrew.

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  19. Your lives and blog have touched countless others in ways you may never know this side of Heaven. When I think about that, I realize Andrew probably sees, knows his story is impacting so many and is smiling to know his life... Your lives as a family are making a difference!
    Some friends of mine in the SF Bay Area are desperately searching for a match for their 2 year old son. I'm frequently reminded of your journey and as we host our bone marrow drives, we hold them not only for little Jeremy but in Andrew's memory too.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words Do you mind sharing Jeremy's parents email or give them mine: josephp102@me.com, so I can reach out to them. By the way, can I ask who this is? Thanks.

      Blessings,
      Joe Park

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