Thinking Out Loud

If I Had Only Taken The Time

I had every intention of walking down my street to meet her. One of her sons consistently comes to my front door asking “can Seth play?” to which I usually reply “he’s already outside, hon.”  They are from Texas, that I know well.  One doesn’t often see children running up and down streets in Oklahoma wearing Texas Longhorn jerseys unless they are truly from the Lone Star State. But now I’ll never be able to meet her.  I’ll never know what her voice sounded like or how she fixed her little girl’s hair or how she felt about being a stay-at-home mom.  I’ll never know those things not because she moved out of my neighborhood.  No, I’ll never know those things because she died three nights ago. Unexpectedly. Suddenly. Tragically. At the age of 41, she left her husband and five children behind. Five children. And there’s no other way for me to say it but I’m just plain sick about it. My heart hurts for a family I don’t even know.  I’m grieving the loss of something that quite honestly, I had no desire in knowing.  I mean, the last thing I really wanted to do was walk to the end of my street in the heat of the day to introduce myself to someone who I may or may not like.  I already have neighbor friends whom I enjoy being with. I didn’t need another one. I have no idea about her eternity.  I don’t know how her children will deal with their grief.  I don’t know if they have a close-knit family back home to help them through this tragedy.  I don’t have a single clue. And I don’t even know her name, for cryin’ out loud. I am battling so much inside right now as I write these words. I am thinking of those four boys and one little girl who will never see their mother again.  How they will have a question about something one day and realize that it was mom who always did that or knew where that thing was.  They will want to share something cool with her and then run to tell her only to remember that she’s no longer there.  And now there is a dad who has been slammed against a wall that he probably never saw coming.  He will take on all her roles and I’m guessing it will either crush him or create a new man. Of course, I can’t help but think of my life. I’m 40. She was 41. That could have been me.  Could be me in the future.  Leaving my husband as a widower is tough to think about but leaving my sons without a mother? I’d rather swim constantly in an indoor swimming pool, eat seafood every meal of my life and have scorpions crawl all over my body. It’s very possible that part of my sadness is really for me, for my boys, for my family. And the fact that I even admitted that makes me feel even more selfish than I already am. I would pray for God to ruin me, but I think He already is.

12 thoughts on “If I Had Only Taken The Time”

  1. Oh Cindy, I have seen these kiddos fishing in the pond…I have met dad in passing, walking their dog…..this might be too little to late in my miniscule mind but IS there anything we SVR can do? Let’s get together soon, okay? 

  2. I’ve been praying for God to ruin me too, to help me find joy in being inconvienenced for His causes. Thank you for sharing your heart, and for reminding me of the eternal value of loving when I don’t want to…

  3. I appreciate your honesty and I know that is how God gets in our heart and does His work. Trusting HIm again…and again…and again. love.

  4. I love this! I miss you & haven’t read in a long time but great thoughts. We just have to listen today. To ask, ” what am I supposed to do today?” then respond… Love embracing the brokenness!

  5. Great post Cindy. We all need this reminder each and every day. The Christian life is lived out when we “die to self” and “serve others.” Praying the HOLY SPIRIT will minister to this family in an amazing way and in CHRIST they will be comforted and find peace.
    Love you friend! :o)

  6. Cindy,
    I am so sorry- I know your heart and that you are hurting. I’ll be preying for this family and your ministry to them,.

  7. Wow. Cindy thank you so much for your post. Praying that God will comfort and help this family and that He will use your message to impact others as I have been impacted.

    My husband and I moved to a new community in April and have been a bit disappointed that we haven’t had opportunity to meet many of the neighbors. The town is very small and we somehow thought that we would know all of the neighbors quickly. I decided in myself that it was okay if we didn’t get to know everyone. I was thinking that we were the ones who just moved in – shouldn’t they be the ones to come out and welcome us? Now I am ashamed of that thought pattern…

    I intend to start being very purposed to get to know my neighbors now. My heart is breaking for the family and for your pain. Know that your experience, as painful as it is, will make a difference because you shared it.

    Blessings

  8. Oh Cindy…wow..I think you pretty much just described me. I have some neighbors that their kids played with mine but I didn’t take time to get to know the family that much. In August I found out they were getting divorced & she moved out. I have felt so much heartache over never reaching out to them because…well…they were different than me & I didn’t want to get involved in another relationship. Selfish of me huh? Simply walking across the street might have made an impact on them…I don’t know.
    I appreciate your honesty & transparency. I am praying for you & that family. I know God can still use your family to minister to them. Those kids are gonna need a good “neighbor” now to give them mom hugs.

  9. Wow. Just wow. Stepping outside of our comfort, of our bubble, is not hard, just something we don’t like to do. What a tough reminder this morning. My heart and head hurts. Praying for your peace along with the family’s. So very sorry.

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