Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In Loving Memory Part 2

Part 1 will never be shared, it was my immediate reaction after finding out my cousin, Ian, was in heaven. The emotions are too raw, the understanding still very limited. After a week of processing, there are still so many emotions, and they are just below the surface, coming out when I least expect it. The understanding is still limited, but instead of all the questioning, I am trusting that God is still sovereign, and that he is a God of restoration and redemption. Although I do not believe for a second that He caused this to happen, I do believe that He will bring as much good as possible from the broken pieces of lives and relationships that surround it. This is going to be totally candid, I don't think I'll do much editing, I'm just typing, just getting it out, not trying to be perfect. My reactions...

I think of my mommom's graduation photos of her nine grandkids on her table at her house. I think how proud she is of us. I think how it can't be possible that there are only eight of us now. I pray in tears for my mommom.

I look out my kitchen window and see mint, oregano, and cone flowers growing in my garden that were a gift from my aunt (Ian's mom) when we moved in here. And in the middle of washing dishes I am suddenly breaking down, sitting on the floor, with my face in my hands, praying for my aunt as she goes through a tragedy no mother should ever have to face.

I open the refrigerator, and I see lemon juice concentrate, and I remember being at my aunt's when I was a little girl and her and Ian going back and forth over whether real lemon or the concentrate taste better in iced tea. (Ian liked the concentrate.)

I go into the laundry room and see a tiny little cowboys football baby outfit that I have been saving to send to Ian and Becca if they ever had a baby. I cry my eyes out thinking of what might've been.

I open the pantry and see pear chai latte preserves my aunt gave us. I pray more for her.

My mommom comes over and brings along pictures of Ian, some of me and him together. I can hardly stand to look at them for the pain in my head and the pressure in my chest. I ask Jesus to help me pull it together.

I pull out my favorite sweatshirt, and it's the one I got from West Point when we went to visit Ian while he was there.

I see a little kid wearing a superman shirt, and I think how much Ian loved super heroes, his artwork, his obsession with batman when he was little.

I think about pulling out games for company that is coming over for dinner. I think of monopoly, and my mind flashes back to playing with Ian, and how once I gave him all my money and properties for one of the green properties he owned (he could drive a hard bargain) and then was mad at him for the rest of the game for making me pay so much. I smile through tears at that one.

I go to my parents, I see their pool, I think that the last time I saw him was there. August of 2010. I think how I hugged him bye. I don't especially remember that exact moment, but I know it happened because Ian always hugged us goodbye. I think how I had no idea then, not a clue that it was the last time I'd see him. I think how much more I would have said if I had known. I think how I would have held on when he hugged me.

I think of the home videos we've watched at family get togethers, how we would always crack up at Ian's quirky personality and his changing voice, and my personal favorite of him pretending to conduct joanna while she played the piano, and him rapping on the piano with a pencil over and over again. I think how I laughed when I watched it before, and how I'll cry if I watch it again.

I think of playing for hours in my aunt and uncles basement with all my cousins. I think of my grandparents farm (they only lived there until I was four) and playing on the tractors with Ian, going for walks, and other things that seems like dreams now.

I think of the first time I met Becca. I remember our double date, me, Shaun, Ian & Becca, going to the breakfast house, laughing through our whole lunch, feeling like Becca was perfect for Ian. They had this completely original way of flirting and combining sarcastic humor with a special smile or playful touch that was totally unique to them. They were everything to each other. Becca couldn't wait to marry Ian. I think of their engagement. I think of their wedding. They were married in Texas, right after Christmas, and I couldn't get off work to go. I think how I should have just called in and gone anyway. I think of the way Ian was so proud of Becca. I think of how devoted he was to her, how incredibly much she loved him. I think how they are the same ages as Shaun and I. I think how much life they were still supposed to have together.

I get on facebook, I look at his page, I see his smiling face, and I think that's how I'll always see him. Smiling. This can't possibly be reality. He should still be here. I look at Becca's page, and I see her broken heart, the photo of the two of them kissing, the thought of trying to move on when your soul mate is suddenly gone.

I think how he's in heaven with my poppop. I think how he is surrounded by glorious light, in the presense of Jesus, no more tears, no more sadness.

It's amazing how many things in a day can remind you of one person. It's amazing the way we take people for granted when they're still here, and can't stop thinking of them when they're gone.

Somehow writing helps me process. I don't know if there will be a part 3. With his memorial service still a week away, I imagine there might be. If you're reading this, please pray for my aunt and uncle, and for Ian's older brother and younger sister, and for his wife Becca. Please pray for supernatural comfort, and please pray that Jesus will do what he said he'd do in Isaiah 61:3.
"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."


  1. Jessi - what beautiful memories. I will pray for you and your family for healing.

  2. I pray for your entire family Jessi. It will be hard, and the sadness can hit at unpredictable times, but it will get easier and you all will get through it. Remember each tear you shed shows how much you loved him, and also how much compassion you have in your heart for Becca and your aunt and uncle. That is your love to them and to Ian. But he is in a beautiful place now, and you will see him again someday. I understand how you say little random things remind you of him. I still have that sometimes with my grandparents, and I still cry over it once in awhile. At my engagement party last weekend my Aunt Reba gave me my Mom-Mom's pearl necklace and I was bawling in front of everyone. I wish someone would've warned me. But those tears just show how much you cared about them. :)

    Hugs! Pray, and Jesus will give you strength :)

    -Jenny Ham