by Kathy Baumgart
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My Dad used to tell me the true test of a person’s character is not how they behave when things are going well. It’s how they behave when their facing a trial and their back is against the wall. I’ve certainly felt that way over the past three years. Let me quickly summarize my last 2 years. On March the 1st , 2010 our oldest son died at 26. His birth made me a mom in 1983. Being a mom was and will remain the most precious blessing of my life. We actually buried our precious Jo Jo on my husband’s birthday. He was crushed when his dump truck bed fell on him. His daughter was 4 ½ months old at the time of his death. I repeatedly said the best part of being a grandparent is watching your child be a parent. He loved every precious minute of being her Dad. About 6 weeks after his death our granddaughter’s mother who was over whelmed with grief decided that we didn’t need to be in her life. That put us in the very awkward position of having to retain a lawyer, which is VERY expensive, and start the process of invoking our grandparents’ rights. Something we NEVER imagined we would ever have to do. After several months of our continuous prayer and loving on her, I am happy to report we are now the loving family I imagined we would always be and we never had to invoke our grandparent’s rights. About that same time 6 – 8 weeks after our son died our daughter miscarried her first pregnancy. Her precious little body just couldn’t handle the grief and the baby at the same time.
The next year on Oct 13th 2011 we lost my best friend since birth, my precious mother she was only 69 and her death was also sudden and unexpected. Mom, my daughter and I were like the three musketeers. We drew strength from each other and were helping each other through the grieving process.
Six weeks later her 50 yr old brother, my best friend in high school, died suddenly. He left behind a stay at home wife and 7 children. They were and still are the most precious family you've ever seen.
And this year my employer of 25 years is struggling and there is a very real possibility that I am going to lose my job. Leaving me with the daunting task of writing a resume and looking for a job at nearly 50. This very prospect terrifies me.
I feel like a punching bag. It's been two years since my son's death and 6 months since my mother's death and I still cry every day. Our daughter is expecting again and is in her second trimester. I am happy for her and anticipating the birth of another precious grand child. I can't wait to see my daughter being a mom. But I am not experiencing joy. I now wonder if I will ever experience joy again.