Reading through my blog post titled “Ringing Ears” I can’t help but think about how while I was writing that post my parents were dying. I remember that after writing the blog I wanted to call mom to tell her about it, but when I looked at the time it was 11:30 P.M. (firemen were called at 11:40). It was late. I’ll tell her in the morning… A morning that never came for them. If I had called, could I have woken them up? Would they still be here? Of course these are silly questions, but they go through my mind anyway. My parents were deeply connected with my life, I shared everything with them: hopes, dreams, hurts, joys, plans and needs. They were my encouragers, the ones who always pushed me to follow my dreams. They never held me back. One of the first questions I sobbed into my husband’s neck the week after their passing was: who is going to be proud of me now, who will I share my life with? They believed in me. I miss their voices.
They have been gone for seven weeks and one day. A lot has happened since then. We had memorial services in Padova, Minnesota and California. I had to take my three babes with me across the ocean and the U.S. alone. I sat on nine different airplanes, and cried on every single one of them. Even though I was highly stressed, there was always a moment of calm where I’d think of the purpose of the trip and I’d start crying. I’m sure other passengers just thought I was a stressed mom who was having a breakdown; little did they know the turmoil going on in my broken heart.
As soon as our last flight was flying over the Alps it hit me that I now have to get back to “life”. That I need to go back to work in the office that I shared with my dad for the last 6 months. The thought is unbearable. Arriving in Venice and waiting for our bags I realized that everyone else had their bags and I was just standing there without even one piece of luggage. I got angry. After everything I had been through in the last weeks and traveling across half the world with three little babes I had to deal with this, too. I know it happens. I’ve been traveling the world frequently since I was 9 months old. Nothing is new. But I was physically and emotionally spent. My first instinct was to call my mom. That made me angrier. I needed to hear her calm voice saying it would be ok. She is the only person who has always been able to calm me down. Looking back it was probably a blessing that my bags, car seats and stroller were left in London… I didn’t have to try to push all that stuff out through the security doors by myself with three kids in tow!
In my blog post “Ringing Ears” I wrote this:
I wanted to have a record of our life as it is now so that we can one day look back on it and know that with the Lord’s help we can do the impossible. There are days when I don’t know how I can make it through because of stress and exhaustion, but I am reminded that I don’t have to do it on my own. God gives me strength! No one understands what I go through each day, but He does. And believe it or not, that gives me courage to face each new day.
When I wrote those words I didn’t know that in seven hours I would receive the most devastating news in my life. Yet those words are still true even in my new circumstances. I know I do not have to do this on my own. The ache is real. The pain is real. And despite what so many well-meaning people have told me (don’t cry, be strong), I am going to continue to cry and express the deep pain caused by the tragic loss of my parents. I am strong, I know I am. Tears are not a sign of weakness. Even Jesus wept when Lazarus died. Tears are a way to move forward. Tears allow me to unload the heaviness that I feel in my heart. And it’s ok. I know I will be ok, because my God is faithful and He is my comforter. Therefore, please, I’m asking you from the bottom of my heart, just let me cry.
4 Comments Add yours
I cry with you Alicia. My heart is sad for you. Its healthy to cry. There is a huge hole there. Im sorry you had to travel alone with the kids. I hope you got everything back from the airport. Please know I think about you everyday. I love you. I say prayers for you. Sometimes I wonder if that pain, sadness , grieving ever ends. 💖💖💖💖💖
I am not sure what to say…no words suffice. Yes, the Holy Spirit is your daily comforter, constant companion, helper; and yes, the pain and ache are real. Praying daily for you and your precious family. Your Mom was the best encourager and your Dad was the best at having a positive outlook on life. I miss them too. Love you much. Rita
Alicia, we are standing with you… through tears, memories, anger, disbelief, laughter, pain and more tears … you are strong, and we are proud of you. Love you very much
Alicia, you probably don’t remember me. I came to Rome in 1995 for three months. I stayed with your family for several days before going to be with a family in Monte Portzio. I helped out at the school your mom directed…taught the kindergarten kids. I just heard about what happened to your parents. I am so sorry that you have lost them. I will never be one to say, “Don’t cry”. You will need to cry. You will need to ask why. And you will find yourself sometimes thinking, I’ve got to call mom”, or I’ve got to tell dad”. Then you will realize that you cannot…and you will cry again. But, hon, keep your eyes on the Lord and on eternity. You WILL be reunited with them again, see them again, and talk to them again. This is only temporary, even though “temporary” seems like a very long time to all of us still here on this earth. There is coming a time when all this will be past and there will be no more heartache, no more pain, no more tears. Until that day comes we will carry on, one step at a time, one day at a time. Your parents worked hard for the Lord and have touched so many lives with a vibrancy not matched by many. We all are very thankful for that.