04 September 2010

Memories: Pleasure and Pain

Every year, my church has a retreat on this weekend where we go to a 4H camp and stay in cabins, and have teaching sessions, games, family fun, dancing, sports, swimming, and great fellowship. We have been going yearly I guess for the past six years, and the kids look forward to it each year. It is a great time with many great memories.

Last year, I didn't get to go with the family, since my band had multiple gigs that weekend. I have still not lived that down. My family was again excited this time, but the kids were even more excited since I would be going with them for the majority of the weekend. While my band has a large exposure show on the Sunday of this weekend, I am still able to attend for Friday night, all day Saturday, and after my early morning gig, will return to finish out the entire Sunday afternoon with the family before coming home tomorrow night. 
As stated, I did not get to go last year, so the last time I did go was August 2008...me, my wife, and my six children. It was nice to be back, and it didn't feel like it had been six years since I was last there. I guess the events in life since then have made time pass very oddly.

As most of you may know (if you had read my previous blog postings), our life changed drastically in May 2009 when my oldest son Jonathan unexpectedly passed away in his sleep. So, the last time I personally attended the retreat was prior to his death.

When I arrived at the retreat, I wasn't thinking of that ordeal at all, but shortly after arriving, the sights, the sounds and the memories came flooding in; memories of things my son had enjoyed at this event. Everywhere I looked I saw him, from simply seeing him in his bed, to playing the games, and hanging with friends; it all came flooding back unexpectedly.

While I continue pursuing fond memories with my family, and spending as much undivided attention as possible with them, the past memories remain. I guess it doesn't help any that this is his birthday weekend too; he would be 19 years old on Monday the 6th. It has been just over 15 months since he passed, and I miss him greatly, but especially when we do something again for the first time, that we had done when he was with us.

I covet your prayers for strength and comfort during the rest of this weekend and especially on Monday, his birthday.