Lost loved ones can make holiday season a struggle
Stock photo | Pixabay
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While growing up, my family enjoyed a really predictable afternoon and evening routine.
I got home from school at 2:30 and played with friends on my block in South Side Chicago. I usually went home at 5 p.m. and waited for my dad to arrive at 5:30. After that, we’d sit down to have dinner as a family and watch TV. At 9 o’clock, we’d all watch WGN Channel 9 news and then go to bed.
That routine repeated every day of my early life except for two occasions.
On the first occasion, my father was in a car accident while on his way home from work. Thankfully, he was unharmed even though his car was totaled. On the second occasion, again, my father did not come through our front door at 5:30. This time, however, I could tell my mother was nervous because she was praying with her rosary.
At 7:30, we received a call from a hospital. My father had been rushed to the hospital earlier in the evening and they needed us immediately. When we arrived, we discovered that my father had passed. It was five days before Christmas and I was 9 years old.
While my father was far from perfect, he was present in my life. After he died, my world fell apart. I was lost until Christ found me at age 21.
To those of you who have lost a relative and are looking at empty seats this holiday season, I want to say that I’m sorry. I feel your pain. It is never easy to continue to walk in life without those people who have been by your side as long as you’ve been alive.
For those husbands who must continue without your wives and for you wives who must continue without your husbands, I want to say I’m sorry for your loss.
I remember the struggles of my mother, and therefore, I know what you are going through. I can never heal your pain, but I can say my prayers are with you this holiday season.
The writer is pastor of Bethel Baptist Church and a candidate in the Republican primary for N.C. House District 24.
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