I’ve always gone into a new year with such high hopes and expectations. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around that now. In 2012, I remember saying, ‘2013 is going to be great!’ We started the year off celebrating life for Vovo’s 100th birthday, and we are ending the year mourning life- Life that was gone too soon. And, not just one life, but many lives. Patrick, Miguel, Ellie, Jackie, Hilda, Christiano – you are all so missed. A part of me wants to put 2013 so far behind me, but another part doesn’t want to move forward. A year full of pleasure and pain, healing and hurting, victory and tragedy; a year full of firsts, and a year full of lasts. There were some wins, but there were more great losses, much peace and much chaos, fulness of great joy with plenty of great suffering, too. There was lots of celebration, but way too much mourning – and, this is just some of what has accompanied 2013. I know that our hope isn’t based on our circumstances. In fact, very rarely in 2013, did our circumstances indicate hope of any kind. Things don’t look good for many of us, and, for some of us, things look and feel hopeless. I understand. I understand how hard it is to believe again when everything has failed. Life is not at all what you had planned, and you don’t know how to fix it. You’re not alone. Unfortunately, we can’t fix it; not for ourselves and not for each other. Only God can. He is close to us broken hearted people. He won’t leave our side, and He promises to heal our broken heart and replace it with an even better heart. It is so hard to imagine, but, when all the cliches start to fade, and the words of man fail, Jesus is our constant. It hurts so badly when the wrong thing is said or people just don’t get it. When people say ‘You’ll see him again,’ but all we want is to feel the warmth of his embrace; When you read the quote, ‘everything happens for a reason,’ and we want to know what reason there could ever be; When we hear ‘he’s watching over you,’ but all we want is to physically see him healed and whole; God is our only hope. Only He can embrace us and bring healing; only He can answer our tough questions; only He has the power to save; only He can provide us with the hope that we find through Jesus. In Him, we somehow have hope. 2013 is the year we lost our first born son in a tragic accident. But, 2013 is also the year that our son beat every odd and statistic geared towards children born from a teen pregnancy. He graduated high school and went to college, and he didn’t just get by, either. He graduated high in his class and got an amazing academic scholarship to Bryant University. Our daughter truly exercised her faith in God for the first time and prayed that He would provide a way for her to attend the high school she desired. She later received a financial blessing that contributed, and she was able to go. Our middle son began to lead praise and worship at our church, and we got to watch God do some amazing things in him. Our youngest continued to bring joy to our family and made the honor roll. My little brother married an amazing woman, and they just found out they are expecting. We’ve discovered who our real friends are, and we have bonded with lots of Christiano’s friends. And that is just SOME of it. We miss our son, and it is absolutely unbearable. For us, there is no other choice but to cast our cares on the One who bore our pain. Christiano wants us to keep believing the best because that’s how he lived. He would never want us to give up. So, that is how I will look at this new year. I will choose to believe and hope for the best because hope is all I have left of Christiano.
The link below is to a song that finally got Christiano out on the dance floor at my brother’s wedding.