Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Birthday ... Tell Me How ...

Karen's birthday is tomorrow, January 22.

Joey went to heaven on May 22.

Yes, it's been 8 months.

Can anyone tell me how to best greet Karen for her birthday? Happy birthday is the usual way, right? But darn it, I know no matter how she tries, tomorrow will be a sad day. A sad day because no matter how much she prays, the fact is she will never get a phone call from her darling son to greet her "happy birthday"!

I am just sayin' ....

No, really ... I am in the mood to rant today. Sure, we all know Joey is in a better place. And sure we all know that as Christians we are all supposed to rejoice. But darn it, I am a mom and I know how mom feels when she misses her son. Darn it, I am mad and I am sad!

I will be back for a more calm post. But this morning I think a rant is better. God is not afraid to hear what we really feel (he knows it anyway). And right now I feel sad that Joey was not able to call her sister Joanne to greet her a happy birthday, and Joey will not be calling Karen tomorrow to greet her a Happy Birthday.

Can anyone tell me how to handle this kind of situation? Rejoice? Celebrate? Oh that's easy for us to say. The fact is it stinks! It's a pit to celebrate your "first birthday after one of your loved ones passed away". That's the truth. That's the plain truth.

And so I think a rant is ok. Maybe a scream would be better. And then after that ... after that I will call upon the Holy Spirit to pour out His mighty comfort, and once again affirm that God is in control. That God has plan. That His ways are higher than our ways. And that we may never understand here on earth why the heck Joey was called to heaven earlier than Karen and Joe. But the Holy Spirit will bring comfort. He will even bring joy. And He will sustain. He will carry them through.

Well ... Karen, Happy Birthday. I am giving you the permission to scream and to cry. Go ahead.

But at the end of the day, know that God is giving you an extra dose of comfort today and tomorrow because He knows you'll need it. And because Joey is there in heaven, with Jesus, asking God, saying "take good care of my mama, because I love her".


lorensaved77 said...

Nicely put Liza...Life stinks sometimes, but in the end we have got to realize God has our back and HE knows what He doing! Whether we agree with Him or Not!
Love your realness and emotions flaring I know Karen is going to relate...I know I can!
♥ nancy
For what it's worth Karen
"Happy Birthday"...There still is a Bit of "Happy" left in this world right?

Anonymous said...

Oh Liza, you are so right. I love this post.

Happy Birthday, Karen. You are loved!

Lisa Bryant

Maisha said...

Liza, I love your heart and I love this post.
Karen, you know that I love you and my family loves you. I am so glad you were born.
Sending lots of heart is with you.

Anonymous said...

What a year this has been for your family Karen! I can only imagine how it must seem---you get the strength to survive one special holiday or event, and another seems to follow on its heels to remind you all over again..I think we can all say Amen to everything Liza wrote.God has definitely given you this special Gift,Liza and you share it so willingly!!

Our Sweet Emily has let us know in diff. ways that we don't always reach out to her in the best way,and I'm sure we have stumbled and bumbled our ways with both of you many times.As I tell Emily,we
haven't recieved our PHD yet in knowing how to react and behave,so be patient with us and lovingly
instruct us along the way.

Karen,I am praying that some day you and Joe can teach a class on ministering in the right ways to people or families going thru major and tragic events.We have so much to learn from you two when the time is right.

In the meantime,we wish you a beautiful birthday that only God can give thru friends and family.
Praying for you both as we lovingly remember all the blessings we have recieved from the two of you over the years.
Joyce and Jesse

Doug Spencer said...

Sure its ok for us to be frustrated at the unfairness of it all. None of us can even begin to know the anguish any mom or dad goes through when a tragedy like this happens. I hope that I never have to confront such grief in my own life.

I've come to know Joey much more since he went to be with the Lord. How do those who know and love the Johnsons' respond on Karen's birthday? I have no pat answers, but what comes to my mind is wondering; how would Joey want us to respond to his mom's birthday this year? I don't know him well enough to answer that question, but I am sure there are those of you out there that do.

To Karen: Our hearts are with you this day whether it is a time of celebration or a time of sadness,or maybe even some of both.

Anonymous said...

On my way to work this am I was thinking alot about this day and Karen and Joey. How would Karen "celebrate" this day? What would Joey do for his mom on this day? Taken her to tea, write her a fun and loving email? What would big Joe do?..write the ever ending card to Karen that takes 2 hours to compose? (I laughed at that one:)

Then I started thinking about the fact that this day, "the 22nd's" was a unique strange that Karen's birthday would fall on this day, this year, on the anniversary of the day her beloved and precious Joey is not present with us anymore but present with the Lord for eternity.

I took a little comfort in that...knowing that this was a day that only Joey and Karen would have together...a unique day that they would share; it will not come again soon and no matter how difficult this will be for Karen it is their day.

I love and miss Joey beyond words.
I love you Karen more than words can express. I pray for your daily.

So, I wish you Blessings on this special day Karen. May you find comfort and joy with your family today. May the Lord fill your heart with the peace that passing all understanding.

I love you so much!

Love - Viv

Charlie and Doreen Barnhart said...

Happy Birthday Karen! Go ahead and cry...but try to include some "crying for happy" as Kit would say.


Anonymous said...

Thinking and praying for you, Karen. Love, Tiffany Malone