Friday, August 23, 2013

Gary Johnson ~ His Families Loss and the Joy ~ Lost and Found

What exactly is joy?

noun: joy

a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
"tears of joy"
Synonyms: delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, triumph, rejoicing, jubilation, happiness, 
ecstasy, bliss, glee, euphoria.

If  you know joy, as I do, it's not just happiness,
it's a step above!

When I don't have joy, I'm depressed, I've suffered some type of devastation.

The clearest this ever was to me was when my Father passed away.
For approximately 18 days I was in that beginning stage, of the funk.
The best way to describe it was the word, surreal. 
A season of deep sadness.

Your in a fog, just going through the motions with no real sense of time.
I would wander through the day in disbelief ...having to continue to say to myself,
this is real, it really happened.
Wondering how I now would live my life without him?
It's such a change.
Life goes on, the fact is it's a very different life.
For me the surreal lasted a long sometimes still feels surreal,
and its been over four years.
I do recall not being able to imagine for a second that I would ever feel joy again.
I received the phone call.
I was in Montana and my sister called to tell me that her daughter had given birth to
 our sweet, sweet Ruby Lou.
It was like when your pregnant and feeling that first kick.
I felt the kick of joy deep in my soul.
In that moment, I knew I could and would feel joy again.
The circle of life never made more sense.
My Father no longer with us, but our Ruby Lu was just beginning her's.

My grand daughter Ellery was born last Thursday.
Approximately four hours earlier my cousin Dona very unexpectedly
 lost her precious, sweet, amazing husband. 
Her children lost an amazing Father.
Her grand children, their much loved Grand father.
The rest of us a dear friend you couldn't help but love.
I'm so thankful I was able to see Gary and their family at our 
recent family reunion in Montana, so thankful for that.

August 20th...
It was an odd day.
Here I have this beautiful healthy newborn, a sweet little baby girl to love,
I couldn't have be happier.
At the same time, my heart was so heavy for my cousin Dona and her family.
It seemed so unfair that our experiences of the day were so opposite.

Then I brought myself to some level of peace with it.
Though Gary lived a life cut way too short, and I'm sad he is gone...
Ellery's had just begun, something to celebrate!
It's often how life goes.......
Not to mention, I know my cousin Dona would want me to celebrate this new life.
She's just that special of a person.

Gary, assured a place in heaven by decisions made in life.
He is now celebrating life,
a life everlasting!
Though he will be  missed, I think none would really want him back if it meant that 
what he is experiencing now and forever more would be taken away.
He is now in a place with no tears, sorrow, pain, worry or grief.
A place where joy is permanent.

The best part is, for those of us who've made the same decisions as Gary in 
regard to our spiritual life....
We have the promise we will be reunited with him in heaven,
for eternity.
What a reunion it will be.

For my cousin Dona whom I love like a sister, 
I pray for her and her family, as they muddle through this new place they've found themselves.
I know for sure,
though the life they live has forever been changed, a new way of living will begin, 
and though they may not know it yet,
they will find joy again.

I can not share this story with out you really catching a glimpse of the 
beautiful woman of God Dona is...
the kind of woman I aspire to be....

This is her post this morning on Facebook......

Day is dawning. Light behind the silhouette of trees on the ridge above our meadow. I am watching the day begin. Today I am not despairing. My grief is not scaring me any longer. It is my friend which is reminding me there must be this time of emotional and physical transition. This is a precious time of wrenching from my heart despair and welcoming love and memories and thankfulness. It is life work and it is good. In the meantime God surrounds me with his love, He is faithful. I am leaning on my God who is caring for Gary. Our marriage of three is still thriving with God at the center. Even in our parting for a time we are connected as we are on each side of God. I am content now to wait on this side of heaven resting in the knowing that my Gary is there in heaven where he belongs because God said so. And I believe it and now I am embracing it. Life is good because God is. Yes it is. 
Yes, God.

Wishing I were near my sweet cousin during this time, is what echos from my heart today.....

I'm seriously hoping Gary is now fishing along side my Dad :-)



  1. I too am glad you were able to be with Gary and his family at the reunion. I'm sorry for his passing but yes he is with God, and God is always preparing a place for us.

    Thank you for sharing, Debi.

  2. Isn't that just how life and sorrow all mixed up! Sorry for your loss.

    Congrats on your win over at Judy's blog. Love it!

  3. Oh, goodness, we just never know from day to day. We had a precious friend die on July 23rd from a massive heart attack and he was the picture of health. His precious wife is adjusting her life to a new normal and thank the Lord, both she and her late husband are children of the Lord and she is trusting Him every step of the way.

    I always enjoy stopping by and reading your refreshing posts!

  4. I popped over from Judy's blog and I am so glad I did. I can relate to this post so much as I lost my sweet mom on May 18th, and welcomed a new grandbaby on May 28th, and another new one on Aug. first. Such a mixture of emotions...both sadness and and death. With my mother's death so recent, I find myself traveling down a path of sadness and loss, and yet with each day with the sweet new ones there is renewed beginnings and hope. I am sorry to hear about your cousins wife, but rejoice that he knew our Lord and is even now in heaven and in His presence. So glad I found this spot, I will be back! Blessings, Debbie