There is nothing that can prepare you for an event such as this, no matter what age you are. I was eight years old, my sister was 10 and my brother 12. My Mom was 31 years old and left alone with her children. I suppose it is true that life would never be the same...and it wasn't. The innocence of that childhood time was gone.
I cannot say that I never got angry, because I did. As a child, I accepted God's timing as His perfect timing. I decided I would remember, but move on and take care of the rest of my family. Remember is what I did. I remembered for my sister, who found it too painful and just couldn't. The anger part sometimes come much later, but how could it last for long when God's blessing were so abundant?
Whisker rubs, tickles on the floor. Dad in his long combination underwear, streaking around the cabin, lighting the fire and putting out the laterns. Fishing and hunting. Bathing in the lake. Snuggling close to him in front of the skidoo as we sped across the frozen lakes home again...and yes, remembering the time I fell off and Dad ran over me in my little red snowsuit! So happy for lots of deep snow! ha ha. Dad had a bad back from injuries and would often sleep half on/half off the couch because he said "it's comfortable, you should try it". Oh how much fun we had climbing into an old beater truck and "going to the dump!" oh what treasures we could find and Dad would let us keep them! I remember bags of little restaurant style packages of jam, peanut butter and cheez whiz from when Dad was in the hospital with a broken back. Then how he came home with leather belts he had made us all in therapy.
Dad gave us lots of love and hugs and surprises...usually puppies or kittens he found and just had to bring home. Some kids were afraid of my dad's big beard, but I knew how soft he really was. I remember tears when he had to put his dog down. My Dad loved Christmas and surprising us, he even got on the roof to stomp around with bells like Santa...too bad my brother ruined that surprise! It was so much fun digging in his pockets for peppermints when he quit smoking...although it was hard to sneak one without getting a whisker rub first.
He was a great cook...lots of pepper on his eggs and lots of ways to fry up meat...salt and pepper and lots of ketchup...eat up kids!
How sweet it is to have beautiful memories of my short eight years with my Dad Allen, but even sweeter the promise of meeting again in Heaven. My Dad found a peace that he couldn't explain when he understood what Jesus had done for him...and how suiting that my Dad died at the same age as his Jesus...33.
How thankful I am for all those who stopped their lives when our stopped...who brought food and paid bills secretly for us. Who prayed for us and the teachers who understood when a little girl quietly sobbed in class. For teachers who prayed us through and always showed love. How thankful I am to that little Mennonite church/school who wrapped their protective arms around our family so we could heal.
God's healing and love is so perfect. There is no description for it. But once you have felt it, you know.
Adversity can distress us or bless us
The way we use adversity
is strictly our own choice,
For in God's Hands adversity
can make the heart rejoice ~
For everything God sends to us,
no matter in what form,
Is sent with plan and purpose...
for by the fierceness of a storm
The atmosphere is changed and cleared
and the earth is washed and clean
and the "high winds of adversity"
can make restless souls serene ~
and while it's very difficult
for makind to understand
God's intentions and His purpose
and the workings of His hand,
If we observe the miracles
that happen every day
We cannot help but be convinced
that in His wondrous way
God makes what seemed unbearable
and painful and distressing,
when we view it as a blessing.
Helen Steiner Rice
Allen Edwin Imbery
Oct. 1950 to Nov. 1983