The Long Goodbye

Goodbye's have been on my mind lately. I've had two close friends have to say goodbye recently, one to her mother and the other to her father. Losing a parent, I can't imagine what that must feel like. Well....I can imagine it! But I know that I can't truly understand. What I can understand is that it's hard. Goodbye's are always hard! Whether they come quickly or over a prolonged period of time.

In fact, I've thought about that very thing several times. Because of my mother's situation, what my family is really dealing with is a Long Goodbye. It's a watching of her slowly going downhill and feeling helpless to make it easier. It's living with the knowledge that she may be here for years and years and end up at the point where she may not know her own family and will definitely be physically unable to even care for herself (she's pretty much at that particular point already). It's a not fun thing, for the record.

But it's a necessary thing. (Why are those sorts usually of the not-fun variety?)

I can't say as I understand why God allowed my family to go through this. But I do trust that He has his reasons and they are good. They are good.

God's Plan is always, always, always for our good and His glory! And as I type those words, as they sink in my heart and mind, I smile. Because that is one of the amazing things about Him. How good He is! How his love is so gracious and kind, even when we struggle to see it. It doesn't always feel that way, does it? Watching a loved one suffer makes you want to do something. You want to fix it! That's a natural reaction, and when we can't fix it, oh how it hurts. We cry out to Jesus and want to know "WHY?!" Sometimes He tells us why, sometimes we have to wait and then He'll tell us or show us, and sometimes we simply may never know.

But someone does.

Have you ever thought about that? Our lives impact everyone around us. Every single person we have any sort of contact with is affected by what we say and do, and how we respond to things. Most of the time we have no idea of this. I'm positive that I've affected several someones that I will never know about. Perhaps in good ways, perhaps not, but the effect is still there. Whether I know it, whether I don't, that doesn't matter. The action and response is already there and gone. And it's important! Every action I do, every word I say, it affects! God created us that way.

So why should my mother's Long Goodbye to this world be any different? It's not. Someone, somewhere, somehow, she's affecting them. She's affecting us! I can see the differences in our own family because of this. Some are good, some not so good, but the point is...we're affected. And if we are, then I'm sure there's other people. I've had multiple people tell me how much they admire her and how she's handled her limitations.

Which leads me back to my original point. Long goodbye's are hard, but necessary. And whatever reasons God has for them, as hard as they are, as much as you wish it wasn't happening, still God is good. He's got this. He'll be with us every step of the way, surrounding us with His love and His care. All we have to do?

Is trust.