My living children

This morning, someone criticized me for thinking and talking about Andrew too much. Her words were, “cherish those you have around you rather than focusing on the one you have lost. ”

She is young and has no children of her own. She has not experienced parenthood or the loss of a child.

But are her words something I should consider?

Recently, I have thought about him often and have posted his pictures and name almost daily on Facebook. But that is mainly because I in the heavy lifting part of the Annual Andrew Raymond Duncan Memorial Arts Benefit. This benefit is next weekend, so we are doing lots of publicity. Most posts that have his name in them are directly related to the Benefit. I am the chair person and have lots of work to do in the last few weeks. (More on this in tomorrow’s post.)

Normally, his name is not in my daily FB post nor is his picture. Nor do I talk about him in casual conversation.

Andrew’s birthday is Christmas Eve so I do think more about him this time of year.

Do I cherish my other children? Do I show them love and care? Has my grief overwhelmed my life?

I have a wonderful life! I have six terrific kids (plus the one in Heaven) and three beautiful grandsons. I have two spoiled puppies and lots of caring friends. I enjoy all of them!

A typical day starts with stretches (due to a bum shoulder), checking email & Facebook, and taking care of household business followed by an hour on working on my scripture memory work. I do some housework and run errands. Then I spend time in the afternoon on my Precept study.

If I am traveling with Ron, my day often starts with packing up and checking out of the hotel before going to the next appointment.

A couple of days each week I try to exercise – running with my friend, biking, yoga, walking at the Y, or swimming. Though exercise has fallen aside since I had shoulder surgery in September, I enjoy physical exercise.

I usually spend time each day talking with at least one of my kids on the phone or checking in with my stepmom who lives in Denver. Checking in on friends who are hurting either via phone or Facebook takes part of the day as does blogging.

I have found myself in a position of ministry to hurting people.

It is rare that I mention Andrew as my day goes on, though I do think of him. I post about grief, in part, to help others and, in part, because it helps me. Typing my thoughts helps me “clear” them.

When with friends from church or elsewhere, they are usually the ones who bring him, not me. They ask how we are doing or share a fun story. If I am with people who did know him or don’t know about The Accident, I don’t mention either.

I laugh. A lot. I smile and joke and tell stories. If we meet, you will most likely find me smiling. I have many friends and enjoy spending time with them. I love hang gliding, exploring, good food, biking, triathlons, and sightseeing. I enjoy life!

Has grief overwhelmed me? Rarely. Do I cherish my living children and show them love and care? Maybe not as much as they would like, but I do love them and show them in many ways. Do I value life and the joy to be had in Christ? Absolutely!

So, should I consider what this young lady said? Yes. We should always consider criticism offered in love. And sometimes, after careful consideration, we should dismiss it.

6 thoughts on “My living children

  1. I admire your humility in considering the criticism and not automatically dismissing it. And I agree with the other comments. One of the benefits of maturing is learning to tread very, very lightly when you have not walked in another’s shoes. Your family is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe we should always carefully consider criticism. The Lord may use most unexpected people to teach us His ways.

      The young woman who made this comment cannot understand the pain of losing a child; i hope she never does. She has faced hard things in her own life and overcome many challenges. I doubt she ever would have wanted me to tell her to “get over it and get on with your life”, which is a part of her message to me.

      And, yes, maturity does involve learning to tread lightly when correcting or criticizing another person.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Kathleen, you are an amazing woman and a wonderful friend. You have such a huge heart and have been a blessing in our lives and we want you to stay you. We love you and wouldn’t change you for the world. Peter and Sharon

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think I was drawn to following your blog because you emit this wonderful and inspiring glow of joy and peace. You are not sitting around mourning all day, every day. Although you have every right to do just that, you don’t. Instead you model for others how staying active aged holding all of your loved ones close to your heart are vital to the mourning process. I think she brought up an important point but it doesn’t apply to you at all. Yeah, you have considered it…now let it go.

    Liked by 2 people

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