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  • ivanildotrindade 9:30 pm on February 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: do you love me, Dr. John Barger, dramatic events, husbands, losing a child, men can change, radical change, sadness, still-born, the death of a child, tragedy, wives,   

    Tutored by Tragedy 

    No other single event can change a man like the death of a child. I know because I lost my first son in 1988. In Dr. John Barger’s case, this dramatic event was preceded by his wife’s excruciatingly difficult delivery complete with a placenta that was torn loose and ensuing hemorrhaging. The result was that the baby was still-born baby. He describes the event and how it impacted him with these words:

    “At two in the morning in a stark, bright hospital delivery room, I held in my left hand my tiny lifeless son, and stared in disbelief at his death. I had the power to make [my family’s] lives worse by raging against my baby’s death and my wife’s lack of love, or to make their lives better by learning to love them properly. I had to choose. And it was a clear choice, presented in an instant as I stared at my tiny, helpless, stillborn infant cradled in my hand. In that crucial instant, with God’s grace, I chose the arduous, undramatic, discouraging path of trying to be good. I don’t have time to tell you of all the afflictions we endured in the next four years: sick children, my mother’s sudden death, my losing my job as a teacher, three more miscarriages, and finally a secret sorrow that pierced both of us to the very core of our beings.

    In the midst of these many afflictions, I found that the only way I could learn to love, and to cease being a cause of pain, was to suffer, endure, and strive every minute to repudiate my anger, my resentment, my scorn, my jealousy, my lust, my pride, and my dozens of other vices. I began holding my tongue. I started admitting my faults and apologizing for them. I quit defending myself when I was judged too harshly, for the important thing was not to be right but to love. And frankly, once I started listening to Susan, once I began really hearing her and drawing her out, I was startled at how many and how deep were her wounds and her sorrows.

    Most were not sorrows unique to Susan. They were the sorrows that all feel: sorrows that arise from the particular physiology of women and from their vocation as mothers, which gives them heavy duties and responsibilities while leaving them almost totally dependent on men for their material well-being and their spiritual support; sorrows that arise from loving their husbands and children intensely, but not being able to keep harm from those they love; sorrows that arise from the fact that in our society even the most chaste of women are regularly threatened by the lustful stares, remarks, and advances of men; and sorrows that arise because our society in general still considers women stupid, flighty, and superficial, and still places very little value on women and shows very little respect for them.

    Women suffer these wounds far more often and with a greater intensity than most of us men ever realize. And unless we ask them, women generally do not speak to us of these sorrows, perhaps because we men so often dismiss their troubles as insignificant or write off women themselves as simply weak and whiny. Can men withdraw the sword of sorrow that pierces every woman’s heart? I don’t think so. Their problems are generally not the kind that have a solution, but rather form the very fabric of their daily existence.

    One of my friends, when confronted at the end of a long workday with his wife’s complaints about the noise, the troubles, and the unending housework, snapped back at her in exasperation: “Well, do you want me to stay home and do the housework while you go off to the office?” You understand his point: He couldn’t solve her problems. What did she want him to do? I’ll tell you. She wanted him to listen, to understand, and to sympathize. She wanted him to let her know that despite her problems, her exhaustion, her dishevelment, he loved her; to let her know that it caused him sorrow that she was suffering and that if it were possible, he would change it for her.”

    These words pierce the heart. They ought to be read by every married men and women everywhere. He goes on to describe how through three years of hard work, he was finally able to draw his wife’s love out again, only to have tragedy struck like a thief in the night. More on that later.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

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  • ivanildotrindade 9:01 pm on September 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , losing a child   

    Though dead, he yet speaks 

    Most of my readers probably don’t know this, but I have another son besides Joshua. I say I have because I do believe in the immortality of the soul. Caleb would be 23 this October. My first male child, he lived too little but taught me so much with his short life.

    My son was born with a lung deficiency and the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck didn’t help matters. He lived in the warm womb of his loving mother then moved to the cold womb of an incubator. A few days was all he had.

    I was out-of-state when my wife went into labor. By the time I heard the news he was already too ill. I went to the airline to buy tickets so I could be with my family and while there I met a college roommate who had come back to our hometown to be at the funeral of his teenage brother who had succumbed to cancer. Little did I know that in a few days I was going to bury my son. I was absolutely certain that my son was going to be okay. After all, I believed in God, I was serving Him and I erroneously had it on the back of my mind that these things didn’t happen to people like me.

    I gave my friend my condolences and never once mentioned that I was going to travel to see my sick son who had just been born. Part of the reason was that I didn’t know how serious his condition was. The other part was simply confidence that God would not let me down.

    I arrived in the hospital and saw my son first from a distance, then from so close I could almost touch him. He had a sweet face, peaceful, almost oblivious to everything happening around him. He had four medical specialists taking care of him. His family was surrounding him with love and prayers were being offered by everyone. Next to him was a boy who never stopped crying. He had the lungs of a soccer announcer screaming “goooooollllllll!” Nobody paid attention to him. Not a one. Not even his mom. I learned later she was a 16-year-old who delivered him and fled the hospital.

    You can’t miss the irony: on one corner, the baby everyone wants, surrounded by love and care, but fighting for his life with his every breath; on the other, the baby no one wants, living life fully and annoying everyone with his every breath. In the end the one with the collapsed lung died and the one whose heart would one day be broken lived.

    The grief that followed my son’s death was the most intense feeling I ever had in my life. But it was also the time I felt most loved by people in our church. Out of utter darkness came the brightest light. And with every new day hope was restored brick by brick. I never lost my faith in God and never once blamed Him for taking my son.

    Sometimes I feel the breeze on my face when I am driving my car with the windows down. For some reason I think of Caleb in those times and tears come down my face. I think of his beautiful face and the smile he would give his mom when she got close to him and talked to him. My son recognized his mom’s voice and his smile was love displayed in soft strokes.

    My son never lived to consciously teach me anything, but his short life and swift going taught me that there is no depth of suffering in this world that can’t be overcome with the hope that we have in Christ. And I am glad I found the way and keep finding the way every day out of the mess which I tend to make around me from time to time.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • ivanildotrindade 10:29 pm on September 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I checked your blog, Bonnie, and was very touched by it. God’s peace to you and blessings in all you do. Thanks.

    • Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective 11:07 am on September 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      “You can’t miss the irony: on one corner, the baby everyone wants, surrounded by love and care, but fighting for his life with his every breath; on the other, the baby no one wants, living life fully and annoying everyone with his every breath. In the end the one with the collapsed lung died and the one whose heart would one day be broken lived.”

      You are right…sometimes the irony is hard to miss…

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