Pompeii~Behind My Dark Glasses

Apologies for being out of my online journaling loop in the past couple of months. I am in disbelief about how quickly we have navigated through January and February. Mehana finished a whole new awesome season of high school soccer and dove right into the track and field season. Is it really March already?!
The family New Years photo cards are still in the envelope that I received it in from Walmart.

This video is a song about a volcanic eruption over the city of Pompeii in Rome. I heard this song on my daughter’s favorite local radio station as I was driving her around town to her many commitments. This song will stick to me forever for the most difficult thing in January was saying goodbye to a dear friend. “And the walls kept tumbling down in the city that we lo-o-o-ove. Great clouds roll over the hills bringing darkness from abo-o-o-ove…”

It was something that I was barely prepared for especially since it was just too early for him to go. 30 years is really a short time to live. He suddenly left and his death could have well been prevented. As I was leaving 2013 with a sense of peace, the 2nd day of the new year brought devastation to loved ones including myself who knew this person. I’ve said this before that we can never be too sure of when we are to see each other again. Each and every person who was and is placed in my life has a special space in my heart.

It’s so hard to see the sorrow that dear friends must go through. It’s difficult to see people hurting. It is uncomfortable to feel pain and grief under such circumstances and it is something that must be dealt with and grief must take its course rather than blocking it out to cause more pain later on. “Now how am I gonna be an optimist about this?”

I dare not put on a blind eye. I want to be supportive. There is a time for everything. So when sad times come, yes, it’s ok to be sad. Take the time to be sad at the time and place given to be sad. Only God can take away the pain and aid in moving forward to the ones who walk alone from the absence of a loved one.

“But if you close your eyes…”
As I move forward without this wonderful gentleman, I am grateful for his laughter that still echoes in my ears. This person is my really good friend’s brother. I met him first when he was a young teenager (about 14). Mehana and I were in the kitchen of the Haili street house. Mehana was an infant and she was in her little play center-the thing with the swivel seat-and she was spinning around and wobbling in it and playing with all the amusing toys that were attached to it. Casey was resting in a nearby room and he too said that that was his most distinguishable memory of Rasi. My friend was already hapai (pregnant) with her now 15 year old daughter. But they both came walking into the living room that was connected the kitchen and Rasi was immediately amused by Mehana. He had a high pitched hearty laugh that kind of pierced my ears but brought comfort to my monotonous and long suffering beginnings of being a new mother. And I thought, WOW, this teenager is just amused by this beautiful baby and this beautiful baby doesn’t even know how she has brought a little ounce of joy to this teenager. As he was intrigued by my baby girl, I felt confident that this little girl was to bring abundant joy to my life and she does to this very day! And that is what he gave me. In that moment, I was given the confidence to go on and take care of my little precious bundle of joy.

I continued to see Rasi briefly at my friend’s family get togethers. He had grown into a very tall and handsome adult. He started a family and the last time I had seen him was at his son’s first birthday party 4 years ago. So basically, I saw this boy grow up and it’s so unsettling to have someone like that precede me in death.

As I struggled to find the beauty through my dark glasses that I wore to my friend’s memorial, I did find the blessing of the clear blue sky and flawless sunny weather. The perfect weather conditions that made the coconut leaves dance gracefully in the gentle afternoon breeze did not take away the feelings of missing a person that I had known so dearly. There was so much life teeming with laughter from children bouncing about in a jumping castle, radio music blaring through our ears, the murmur and voices of people conversing closely together and at the same time, a burst and shriek of surprise and laughter between friends coming together after years of being apart. Pairs and trios with arms and hands interlocked. A hand on a shoulder. The closeness. The closeness was real and the closeness was beautiful. Even behind my dark glasses, yes, there is beauty in pain and sorrow and suffering. Together we cry. Together we laugh. Together we hug. And together we heal. Together we move forward in love. Rest in Peace Rasi Summers.

“Oh~Where do we begin?”
The death of a loved one really truly breaks my heart. We are here to go on without them and deal with the absence and feelings of sorrow. The battle is long and the road is rough but God is always here to bring healing and comfort. God has an uncanny way of bringing people together, for placing the right people at your side at just the right time with the right words to say. When that happens, thank God. When that happens, praise God. Because only He knows how it feels to walk the road you’re walking right now.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
-Psalm 90:12(NIV)

Love and Blessings Always,
Mrs Halpern

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