It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years since we lost our son James… and 5 years since I wrote the following…
One Year Ago
One year ago last night, our family got together to celebrate the marriage of our eldest daughter, Irene, to her best friend, Sean. Sean is from Southern California, and had not been able to return to Alberta with Irene on Dec.2. He surprised her by telling her he would arrive on Saturday, December 12.
We didn’t know this until the day before our celebration was scheduled. When I asked Irene if we should postpone it till the following week when Sean could be part of it, she said no, because it was such a challenge getting everyone together, with so many working or attending school. That might seem strange, since Sean was a major reason we were celebrating. But it proved to be yet another evidence of God’s omniscience and severeignty, because HE knew this would be the last time our whole family… Dad, Mom and seven children… would be together.
The only one missing from this photo is Irene, who was behind the camera. James, in the black T-shirt, is sitting on the couch, watching an anime show chosen by youngest brother, Nathaniel, who is standing with one foot on my desk. Andrew is at the other end of the couch. Timothy is lying on the floor. Raewyn and Vicki (pink shirt) are on the love seat.
Here we are at the table, ready to eat our special dinner. The tablecloth was given to me by James a few days earlier, and the dinnerware belonged to Ian’s parents. This was the first time we had ever used it in our home. Vicki, Nathaniel and Andrew are sitting against the wall, across from Raewyn, Timothy and James.
One of the best things about that day was that I spent a couple of hours making pies “from scratch”. James loved my pies and often asked me to make them. I usually said no, because my pie crusts never turn out the way they are supposed to. But I did it for him that day… and they were so lovely, tender and… perfect!! Pumpkin pies, mincemeat pies and tarts.
Here is a close up picture of Raewyn, Timothy and James…
That evening… Friday December 11, 2009… was the first time we had all been together in some time. We didn’t know it would be our last.
James did have a tomorrow… just one. The following day he went to work as usual, in the afternoon. Since he was living with the girls, Raewyn and Vicki saw him before he went to work. Sean and Irene saw him briefly in the afternoon when they stopped in at Extra Foods and Sean went to say hello to him. James got off work at 11:00 pm. As he often did, he went for drive in the country to unwind before going home.
Only instead of going home, He went Home to be with his God, in Heaven.
James was only 25. I’m sure he expected to have another 50-60 years here on earth. At the same time, he knew he might not.
It was a powerful wake-up call for me. I don’t know how many tomorrows I might have. And even if I do have another 30-40 years, LIFE IS SHORT. Too short to spend my todays regretting the past or worrying about tomorrow.
Today.. THIS MOMENT… is ALL we’ve got. Let’s make the most of it!
© Willena Flewelling