18 November 2009

Confessions of a Madman

Yesterday marked the sixth month since the unexpected passing of my first-born child, Jonathan. The last six months has been a roller coaster ride emotionally as many of you have read on here; a ride I still seem to be on.

During this time, I have developed quite a drinking problem, that only a few very close friends and family members are even aware of. The bad thing is, not only am I drinking harsh stuff, but some of the worst type of harsh stuff that has added poisoning ingredients. I have tried in recent times to stop, but have been unsuccessful. So I post it here publicly in case anyone else wishes to share their experiences with this type of problem.

Hi, my name is Jeff McCormack, and I am a Coke-a-holic. My soda of choice is Diet Coke, or even better, Coke Zero (especially Vanilla or Cherry Coke Zero). You see, soda is bad enough, with all the chemicals, acid and things that drain the minerals right out of your body. If you switch to diet brands, yes, the reduced sugar is one huge advantage (especially to someone pre-diabetic like myself), but you still get the chemicals, the acid, and the added poisonous artificial sweeteners. But, for someone who comes from a lifetime of prior soda addiction, this is a better way to go than sticking with the original. The lesser of two evils, I guess.

HA! So, I was just grabbing your attention. Yes, I do drink more diet soda these days than in times past, but honestly, it is a vice I am willing to live with at this time.

But yes, yesterday was the six month point since Jonathan passed. I can't say things have really gotten any better in my emotional mind yet, I still have issues - daily, mainly when things get quit and my mind slows down. In some ways, the length of time has made things worse. As I mentioned in a post on this topic some months ago, I still kind of feel like Jonathan is a fallen comrade, that I left on the side of the road while I went to get help. The further I get away from him time wise, the more I feel I can never make it back to help him before it is too late. I know, this is weird thinking, I agree, and I can't stand the way my mind works sometimes. I wonder if some kind of happy-pills could fix this (even though the side effects of such pills seem much worse...lol).

Intellectually, I can grasp it....theologically I can grasp it. He is not "left behind" nor is he stuck in need of saving somewhere. He is much better off than when he was her suffering in his weakened state. I can praise the Lord that he brought Jonathan into our covenant family, and that Jonathan never strayed from keeping the truth. I can rest assured that God is faithful and just, and that Jonathan's trust in the saving work of Christ alone ushered him into the very presence of our Heavenly Father for all eternity. All of this is good and all, but my selfish heart and mind have to be forced to think about this side of things.

While I know I should be happy and excited as to the way every little piece of this scenario went down as peaceful and quickly as it did (which my intellectual self is happy about), that is not my mind's first inclination. I am too selfishly wrapped up in missing him, in seeing him, in sharing with him. I still see his facial expression, I still see him sitting at my desk doing my book store packaging, I still hear him grumbling and complaining over certain things. The memories flood in daily, too much to allow the pleasant things I should be thinking, and instead flood my mind with pain and grief.

So, I drink soda as an outlet (sounds like a good excuse, right?).

I really wish I had the mental abilities to follow in the steps of the great King David. For those of you not familiar with the story from 2 Samuel 12, David committed a great sin, and it brought judgment from God upon him in the promise that his son that Uriah's wife had just had with him would not live. When the child became deathly ill, David spent seven days fasting and praying. On the seventh day, the child died, and when David found out:
Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the LORD. After that, he returned to the palace and ate. His advisers were amazed. "We don’t understand you," they told him. "While the baby was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the baby is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again." David replied, "I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the LORD will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me."
I too long for the day when my emotions get out of the way of my intellect and I can say all is well, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, and I am blessed none the less. For now, I struggle still, and appreciate all of the prayers and thoughts that so many of you have sent our way.

So, I toast you all ... raise your Coke high and enjoy the burning sensation as it runs down your throat! To God be the Glory...Great things he had done!