Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Goodbye from Afar

We weren't able to make the trip from Vermont to Florida for Louie's memorial service.

Oh, we loved Louie, and it grieved me that we couldn't be there to honor him; to comfort our own Nic and Kristiina through their deep mourning; and to weep with his mom, dad and siblings.  We wanted to share the stories and memories, and of course, the laughs, with those that loved him.

Louie was silly and he was fun.  He was kind and he was charming. He was effervescent and he was engaging.  Everyone that met him wanted to know him better.  He was a genuine and true friend.  He was joy and laughter and mischief and intrigue.  And we wanted to remember.

Joe reminded me of a story this afternoon.  He and Louie were at our house, eight or so years ago, working on some projects, just the two of them.  We had just adopted our sweet Zeila, a rescue dog who was terrified of men, including Joe!  Joe is usually a "dog whisperer," they all love him, but not this one.  She wanted no part of anyone male.

Louie wanted to meet her, but Joe warned him about the timid, fearful, run-and-hide temperament she had with men.  "You can try, though," he told Louie.

So, Louie went outside in the backyard where she was, crouched down and extended his hands, "C'mon girl... c'mere.  Good girl..."  She eyed him warily, but shockingly started to approach him.  As soon as he started petting her she got all wiggly and jumpy and happy.  Joe was stunned as he watched Zeila lick Louie's face with her tail wagging.  She playfully showed him her belly and ran around him exuberantly; she even jumped on his back like a billy goat, licking and nibbling his ears.  Joe said it was amazing to watch, Louie had such a way with her.

She's a happy, carefree girl now, but it took Joe two years of patient, gentle, diligence for her to completely trust him.  Louie had her at, "C'mere, girl."  We were amazed, yet not surprised.  There's just something so special about Louie.  He was good.

Since I couldn't be there in person, I decided to head upstairs during the hours of the service for some quiet time and prayer.  I wanted to put myself there in spirit and lift up those whose hearts were breaking.

I prayed and prayed and prayed
Faithful God, be their peace that passes understanding and hold them up with your everlasting arms. Be the light in their darkness, the hope in their despair.  Be glorified.
I put on music that would bring praise and glory to our God and I worshiped and thanked him for his tender kindness and for being our hope in the worst of times

and I cried a river.

As tears were drenching my lap, I remembered a devotion that I read just this morning. Tear Bottle

So why does God keep our tears in a bottle? Because He sees and cares about every one of them. He takes note of our every tear. He hears our every sigh. And the Bible says that a day is coming when God will wipe away all of the tears from all of our years.

Goodbyes are the hardest thing, but by God's grace and goodness, this goodbye isn't forever, it's just for now.

Alleluia. Praise the One, risen Son of God.
~Shane and Shane


Mom said...

Had to remind myself to take some long deep breaths after reading this post!! While you were praying last night Pammie, I was playing with Kingston and Aria and voicing a few quick one sentence requests to my Lord. He is so faithful!

Pam O'Brien said...

Amen, mom. He is faithful. And I'm so glad the kids were with you. I'm sure you would have been pleased to pay your respects at the funeral home, having known and loved him, but the kids needed you, a steady, calming presence, and I'm so glad you were there for them. xo

Anonymous said...

That top third pic down is so Louie. Thanks for these posts. They are sweet.