Monday, February 15, 2010

When The Happy Ending Isn't There

I haven't written in well over a week. Since then I have had friends who have passed on, two from cancer, and one from injuries incurred from an accident that happened one year ago.

Victoria Carro Fiorucci Sanford is the aunt to my life long friends, the Maslonka family which includes my very good friend Cynthia. Vicky lived in our neighborhood, my mother baby sat for her children, and my dad worked with Vicky at Alpha Lehigh Tool. There was also a funny coincidence that over the course of several years long ago, I had lived at three separate addresses in which Vicky had previously resided. She fought a valiant fight against pancreatic cancer. She will remain in my heart as one of the sweetest, most loving, yet strong women in my life.

Barbara Ehrhardt worked with me at the Warren County Welfare Board from April of 1991-April of 1999. From September of 96-99 our desks were back to back and we sat face to face as clerk typists/receptionists for the Food Stamp Office. We had lots of fun times, and Barb was known for adding to our morale by copying the Express Times crossword and Jumble puzzles for us on a daily basis. Each and every Thursday she took our lunch orders for Chinese food, called them in, and greeted the delivery guy at the door. I still kept in touch with her by phone and e-mail these past 10 years. I just deleted her e-mail address last night, and I cried. It was the first time I had to do that because of a death. Her e-mail address so fit her personality, it was "besmile". I will always remember Barbara as having a smile on her face. She loved to make all occasion cards and oil painting. She loved Patrick Swayze. She also loved the movie The Enchanted Cottage. After loosing a lung to cancer, she had gone through years of chemo therapy,with an attitude of acceptance, always leaning on her deep faith in the Lord.

Marty Lantosh, was a neighbor, who was my brother David's age. I can picture him as a child coming in our parent's store, and buying penny candy. His mother Helen pierced my ears when I was eleven, and his sister Helen has been a lifelong friend. Marty was in an accident on February 11, 2009 and received extensive brain injuries, he passed one year to the day of the accident on February 11, 2010. I had so hoped for a miracle for Marty. I really thought he was going to recover.

Today I heard on the news that the body of Brittany Gengel had been recovered from the rubble of the Hotel Montana in Haiti. She and three other students as well as two teachers from Lynn University were still missing since the earthquake on January 12, 2010. They were all there on a mission to help feed the poor. When I saw her parents on the news right after the earthquake they were so positive that she was alive. I have been praying for her safe return, for a miracle.

Sometimes there are no happy endings in life, and it is very hard to try and understand why so much pain and suffering is allowed to happen. We see loving people who love the Lord, and are kind and good go through suffering. We see others who have turned their lives around and have much to live for, loose their will to live, and pass on way too soon. We wonder why God allows this to happen.

There are many answers to the question, Why do bad things happen to good people. I have no answers to this question. I do however believe in the fact that our existence in this physical world is only temporary, short, and a learning experience. Just as a baby comes into this physical realm kicking and screaming, we leave it with sadness. That screaming baby has no idea of what is to come, and thus we need to look at the end of this physical realm as a new beginning. We will have the Lord to greet us and show us a new life with Him.

Someone posted this poem on the online guest book for my dear friend Barbara, and I couldn't have said it better. It was written by Ruth Ann Mahaffey

A Letter From Heaven

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you."

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to you....in the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free,
remember you're not going.....you're coming here to me.

1 comment:

  1. You have certainly been blessed with some amazing people in your life and they are blessed to have had you. You will keep them alive through your memories. I think often on dear friends I have lost through the years - Wally who taught me how to appreciate film and showed me the way to my own spiritual path even though it differed from his; Jackie, wife to Wally, who showed me what it meant to have a mother's love and support; Rose, who I can best describe as the fiercest woman I've ever met - and others who live always in my heart. Thank you for sharing your friends and giving me a chance to share mine.