Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 KJV)

These past few weeks, especially this past week, we have seen several friends leave us. It has been a sorrowful time for those of us who hate to see them go. Even though we call it a “home going” or a “celebration of life” we can’t help but show sorrowful emotion for those that have gone on.

We know that from here on we can only hold them close in our hearts and not in our arms. Hear their voice in our heads and not in our ears. Think about the good times we’ve had with them. And laugh at something that was said or done. It was only after my parents had went on to be with the Lord that I didn’t realize how much of my father’s quirky quotes I could remember. Or the way my mother would get onto my father for saying such quotes. “Edsel!” Would be all she would say. It wasn’t just what she said but how she said it and the expression she gave. He would only laugh about it.

If I ever said, “Well, it’s like this.” My father would speak up and say, “And if you turn it around it’d be like that.” Once I heard him talking about a person being so lazy that they couldn’t shew chickens off a flatbed truck. I couldn’t sit here and tell you a lot of the sayings he had unless something triggered it in my mind.

When my dad died on May 23rd 2004 it was then that I realized that he didn’t die at all he just got a new birthday. A little over a year later my oldest sister, Barbara Ann (Tadlock) Wood, left us on June 10th 2005 after battling the dreaded disease called cancer. That’s why I always say we don’t need to win the war on cancer one day but we need to win it today. Three years later on May 29th 2008 my loving mother left us.

The reason I can remember dates so well is because I’ve always associated it with some other event in life. When I walked down the aisle of Highland Home High School to receive my diploma in 1986 little did I realize that on that exact same day 18 years later I would be “celebrating” my father’s life. His “new” birthday. Now when I think about it or if I talk about it you’ll always hear me say their old birthday and their new birthday.

Why do we mourn? Do we mourn because they left us? I don’t think so. Like all those that I know that have gone on before us, they’ve gone on to a better place. A reward of their labor on this old earth. No pain, no hurting, no worries, no bills (Haha). All that is behind them now. I think the reason we mourn is not that our loved ones have left us but that we can’t go. We all want to go to a better place and if we love our family, friends and most importantly, love the Lord and give our heart and life to Him then we can one day go to that better place.

God tells us in Isaiah, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55: 8,9 KJV)

I want to tell you all that has lost a loved one recently that I am so very sorry for your loss but I also want to tell you that I love you. Because if we never see each other again I want that to be the last thing you hear from me. I love you.

Now go and get ready to “CELEBRATE” your loved one’s “new” birthday.