The Seasons of Pain
In the following series of blogs, I’ll tell some of my family stories. What’s my purpose? To strike a chord with you with the thought, the hope, that you’ll remember your family stories. Better still, my hope is that you’ll tell your family stories to your children, your grandchildren, and even your great-grandchildren. It’s our stories that bind us together as family.
If there’s anything we’d like to forget—but if there’s anything we need to remember—it’s our seasons of pain. It’s in our seasons of pain that the fabric of our families is woven.
For a long time I didn’t know this story. I was 12 years old when my dad passed away. In the months preceding his death, his decline was becoming more evident to my brothers and sisters. But in those days, kids my age weren’t allowed in the hospital rooms. I was unaware, and it caught me by surprise.
As his decline was taking place, I had little idea of the mounting war—the crescendo that was taking place. What was it? How would we survive?—that was our central question. My dad was a blue collar guy. He got paid by the hour. We didn’t own a house. He didn’t have savings. There was no life insurance. There was nothing.
And there were six kids to take care of. My little sister was just 6 years old. The needs were great. My mom didn’t even have a driver’s license.
Somewhere along the line, my mom applied for Social Security survivor benefits. As it turned out, a month before my dad died, those benefits were granted. While it would be tight, we’d have a way. A friend of my dad’s offered us a rental house for $75 a month. Everything fell into place. We moved to the new rental. My mom took a job at a nearby school where she could walk to work and to the grocery store.
The best lessons come from these seasons. I look back now, and I see that God is always true to his word. He is a father to the fatherless and a defender of the widow.
What’s your own season of pain? And do your children know that story?