The Serentity Prayer
15 out of 30 -- Half Way There!
In August 1981 we lost my brother Ricky in a horrific car accident. For most of my family this was the first loss of this magnitude that we experienced. We were at a loss for words, understanding, accepting, we didn't know how to react. For that matter I am sure many who have lost loved ones feel the same way. I was living in Norfolk Virigina at the time with my husband Bob who was in the Navy and our daughter Nichole who was just a little over a year old. In fact, the last time were home was to celebrate her 1st Birthday in April. Not knowing it then, would be the last time I saw Ricky. We actually had plans to go to Washington DC with friends but decided to stay home instead. I will be forever grateful we made that decision. I can't imagine not being home to receive that phone call, no matter how hard hearing those words I would have been more devasted if my family weren't able to get in touch with me. We received that phone call, contacted the Red Cross for assistance in obtaining money so we could arrange our trip home to be with my family. Living on military pay wasn't all it was cracked up to be and we were close to the end of the month, the next pay check was due within the next few days but I didn't want to wait that long.
I felt the need to get home and be with my family, especially my mother who had just lost her first born. I can't imagine how devasting the loss of a child must feel like. I've experienced a number of losses since that day yet know or I should say feel that the loss of a child is by far the worst loss of all. We made it home within 12 hours, driving straight through and only stopping to stretch our legs and use the bathroom. I don't remember much, it al seemed like a blur, each moment blending into the next, a sea of faces hugging me and offering condolences.
I have two distingient memories, one of which still breaks my heart to this day. I recall sitting in th hall of the funeral home, not being able to bring myself to go in just yet. The door opened and I heard my mother's heartbreaking sobs, saying " Eddie I can't do this, I just can't", then seeing my Dad being so brave as he held my mother, walked her into that room and the stood together, my Daddy, so strong and brave being the rock my mom so despreately needed at the time.
The other is sitting in my parent's room, helping my mom go through the mountain of cards they received. There was one card in particular that captivated her attention. I don't recall what the front looked like yet, the poem inside caught both of attetion. It was
The Serenity Prayer
God Grant me The Serenity to Accept the Things I Cannot Change,
The Courage to Change the Things I Can
and The Wisdom To Know the Difference.
That seemed to strike a cord in both of us. We knew there wasn't anything we could do that would bring Ricky back, there weren't any words we could say would take away the pain we felt at losing him, nor could we dry the tears of those who hurt but we could be there for each other, for my dad, my other brothers and sisters, neices and nephews, Ricky's wife Rita, who was more like a sister than sister in law, our close family friends, some who have know Ricky all his life, we were all huring, we were all sad yet, we had to go on with our lives. That is eaiser said then done.
Over the years we have shared memories, tears, Over the years we've shared memories, laughter, tears, happines, sorrow for those we've lost and love for those who have stayed behind. We know that in time, we will all be reunited but until then, my mom and I rely on the Serenity Prayer to guide us on our journey of life, sometimes we walk at a fast pace, sometimes a little on the slow side, there are times we've stumbled, taken detours and right out fallen, we get back up and continue on. The times that are harder than we expected, that's when God reachs out, we take his hand and he stays by our side.