Featured Posts
Recent Posts

Will you go with me?


Two people walking together seems to work well. I know, for me, there are times that I need a strong shoulder to lean on or a hand to hold. I am about to share with you one rare time that I asked a girlfriend to walk with me into a dark place to do some unfathomable work. I was scared beyond expectation, and I knew she could handle it.


Years before anyone was able to give us a clear understanding of how long Robert would be with us, I felt an unrelenting urge to push past the known into the full void of the unknown. It was clear to me that I would probably outlive him. So, what does a mother who makes a five-year plan for everything do with that kind of knowledge? I reluctantly decided that the only way to have peace on the day Robert passed was to plan for it in every way possible, knowing that it would indeed come at some point. Prayers prayed or not, his life in my arms would be short.


Please do not think for a minute that I am terribly wise or strong. I had a goal: to keep our family intact through every means possible and to ensure that Robert’s twin sister, Victoria, had as little stress as possible in the moment he passed. I know…I was crazy to think that I could control so much in this spinning world of ours. I only knew that I could plan and prepare for one very specific detail—the funeral.


“Will you go with me?”


In Robert’s early teens, I contacted our local funeral home, Porter Loring Mortuaries, in San Antonio. The sensitive staff, who met with only me initially, treated me with such love and tenderness when I described what I needed. This was not an unfamiliar conversation for them. They treated me as if I was the most important mom they had ever counseled.


Now, I knew this location very well. I often joined a family for their family service when they did not have a vocalist to sing. It was a comfortable place for me to share my heart. The location I visited had a sense of calm about it that helped me to be brave. I just didn’t anticipate that one of my final visits on my list of things to do would be so devastating that it would require someone to go with me.


“Will you go with me?”


How could I possibly ask someone to go with me? This was really tough stuff. I had decided to do it all by myself so I would not burden anyone else. I scheduled the date to complete everything with the staff, and I was at peace in a strange way that the pre-arranged funeral details for my baby boy were set. (I am writing this to you as cleanly as possible; I do not want to take you there completely.) I signed an agreement to pay for Robert’s final arrangements over time, and I felt that I was prepared, to the best of my ability, to be free of this burden on that day. My plan was to put all the details in a folder upstairs in our home, to safely wait until that day.


I was almost finished. I was to go to the funeral home the next day to...wait for it...yes, to select the casket. Some of you have done this final task for loved ones perhaps, young or old. I had NEVER done it. I NEVER thought I would do it. And the flood of pain (and vomiting) that wrecked my body the night before I was to attend that appointment was more than I could bear. Mind you, I only get that nauseous when I have food poisoning or something very traumatic occurs. I knew this was traumatic, but I didn’t recognize the depth because I was only “planning.”


Robert’s final day wasn’t happening in that moment, but this “selection” day was scheduled on the calendar. He was still at home with us but, to me, in that moment of “planning,” it was happening in real time. I tell you all of this because I still believe this act of planning ahead was one of the very best decisions I made for our family. It freed us to just go upstairs and get that folder from its very safe place on the day Robert passed, and make a phone call to Porter Loring. So much of the planning had been completed. It just wasn’t easy in any way.


“Will you go with me?”


Please don’t think for a minute that I was prepared for this! Who do you know other than another family member that could possibly handle this with you? Who could I call? My husband would be at work; our kids would be at school; and my world was about to get very intense with that drive to the funeral home.


But…I have a girlfriend who I knew would go with me. She had walked a path similar to ours in many ways. I knew if she was in town, she would go with me. I made the phone call and shared with her what I had to do the next morning. I told her that my body reacted so violently at the very thought of the task ahead of me that I knew I needed to walk in “twos.” The casket needed to be chosen, but I was not equipped to do that by myself.


“Will you go with me?”


“Yes, Juli. I will go with you,” was her answer. No hesitation.


After we finished that final task, she walked with me outside of the building, and she let me openly feel with her every single feeling. There was no holding back on my part, and no attempt to shut me down on her part. It is a moment I can still almost feel physically, the before and the after. Trauma can do that to you.


When someone asks for a “two” moment, it is an honor. It means they trust you to stand in the gap for them as they forge ahead into deep waters. It takes so much courage to do it! I am growing in my understanding that I can ask for it, and I can be that friend for someone else.


“Two” moments are life changing. We can be that kind of person for a friend and perhaps to an entire community.


Will you go with Me? I hope you will.


Listening Library: Count On Me (Bruno Mars)

https://youtu.be/6k8cpUkKK4c


“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31NIV)


Count On Me


If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea I'll sail the world to find you If you ever find yourself lost in the dark and you can't see I'll be the light to guide you

We'll find out what we're made of When we are called to help our friends in need

You can count on me like one, two, three I'll be there And I know when I need it, I can count on you like four, three, two And you'll be there 'Cause that's what friends are supposed to do, oh, yeah Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh, yeah, yeah

If you tossin' and you're turnin' and you just can't fall asleep I'll sing a song beside you And if you ever forget how much you really mean to me Every day I will remind you, oh

We'll find out what we're made of When we are called to help our friends in need

You can count on me like one, two, three I'll be there And I know when I need it, I can count on you like four, three, two And you'll be there 'Cause that's what friends are supposed to do, oh, yeah Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh, yeah, yeah

You'll always have my shoulder when you cry I'll never let go, never say goodbye You know...

You can count on me like one, two, three I'll be there And I know when I need it I can count on you like four, three, two And you'll be there 'Cause that's what friends are supposed to do, oh, yeah Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh

You can count on me 'cause I can count on you


Songwriters: Peter Gene Hernandez / Ari Levine / Philip Martin Ii Lawrence

Count on Me lyrics © Wb Music Corp., Universal Music Corp., Bughouse, Round Hill Songs, Thou Art The Hunger, Roc Nation Music, Music Famamanem Lp, Mars Force Music, Music Famamanem, Art For Art's Sake Music, Toy Plane Music, Northside Independent Music Publishing, Llc



84 views0 comments

In Our Arms

LIFE UNEXPECTED