Remembering, God’s plan – A tribute to Dennis Traynor and his family

It’s been two years. But in some ways I am sure it feels like no time has passed, yet, in other ways it may seem like decades have run past. This morning, I awake with both the Traynor’s and my brother’s family on my mind. I share this again, in remembrance and in tribute to Dennis. Time passes, and supposedly heals all wounds, but still there lies a void where a man once walked among our lives. He’s still better off than he was here, and as a man, I know his legacy would matter to him, while it doesn’t replace him, it speaks volumes of his life and all he left here. There are many traces of him here, and plenty of people who will never forget the man.

 

I sit here with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, as I cannot seem to make myself move a muscle. This is another tribute piece, not much different from one I wrote just weeks ago. Some of this is unchanged as truths and observations needn’t be corrected or updated here. That said, this is specifically and uniquely a tribute to the life of Dennis Traynor. He was taken from us all before we would have been ready to let him go. It was after 10pm when the phone rang. It was my mom. No offense mom, but those late night calls are never good ones. I am glad she called though. The news; my youngest brother Pete just lost his father-in-law, of course this means Pete’s sweetheart wife Louise lost her dad. Their four boys, age ten and younger, have to hear their mom and dad tell them about their grandfather. My heart sinks for those Mr. Dennis Traynor left behind.

I started thinking about the last few hours or so. I started thinking about the afternoon into this evening and where my thoughts and actions took me. It’s hard to comprehend sometimes how much is happening in every second of every day. The dark sky and torrents of rain reminded me that God is All Powerful and there’s nothing we can do it about it. As it should be. I ventured out after dinner to get my son to hockey practice. We left the house and I thought about caution as we drove through the pouring rain in the dark. At that same time, God, the Creator of the power unleashed from the heavens, was sharing a part of His plan for this still young father and grandfather, and his family. Maybe the night sky was emptying itself, a cleansing of sorts, to bring another of God’s children home.

I have often thought that God has a unique way of allowing certain things to happen, or at least to be noticeable to us, at the right time so we can create our own way of coping with events bigger than us. For example, I remember when my grandfather died. He was a great man of God, a preacher, teacher, reciter of the scriptures, he had a Christian book store, he had preached on the radio, and lived his life for God. I remember the morning of his service, the day he was to be buried, a light, pure, white snow fell, just enough to cover everything in a beautiful untouched blanket of white. I remember saying to my parents that God had given the ground a purifying coat of clean for my grandfather’s body to be put to rest one final time. I don’t know how this relates or if it does at all but I know I won’t soon forget that my attention was so-called to the heavens yesterday as God’s power washed over the northeast.

There’s a plan for all of this. God’s plan. Two words that make many want to turn and run the other way, God’s plan, because it usually means something that us imperfect humans don’t understand, or don’t want to deal with. Whatever the reaction is, it doesn’t change the plan. When I was younger I fought the plan, I am sure I did. I also didn’t always understand how or why things so terrible could happen to people as part of God’s plan. I am certainly not going to pretend to know or understand all these things now either. I do know that almost always, we are a part of a plan that is much bigger than it appears on the surface.

I know it’s hard to look at this situation and see anything positive. It’s all part of the plan. God’s plan. Time will tell how the plan unfolds. Even though it’s God’s plan, we are to be present and participating in His plan. I am in no way trying to down play any of this; this is a serious matter. There’s a message in most everything and I am willing to bet there’s even more of a wonderful message here as well. Think of the things you have heard, the things you have read, the things you have seen yourself, the life you may have been a part of first hand, all those things are a message of Dennis’ life. While many stood and watched, or waited to be led, Dennis was doing, Dennis was leading. He was the straw that stirs the drink for his family and those who knew him. Personally, I am honored that I knew him. I am so glad I got to spend some time with him and talk to him at Pete and Louise’s house back in October. I am sure it’s virtually unthinkable that the family will go on without him. Often times through the most unthinkable loss or sacrifice comes the greatest gift or the most amazing victory.

Please don’t think that this is over when the news stops running or the stories stop circulating. You and I may be a part of the plan. Anyone of us could be instrumental. The Traynor family is and will be feeling like there’s a void in a place where there once was a rock. So, our words, our actions, just might be the right thing at the right time for the one who needs that spoken word or the example they were looking for. Foundations are paramount for a sound structure as the scriptures tell us. This family just lost a major portion of their foundation and we might need to help hold up the structure for a time. Really it’s always supposed to be that way. We are human, and our best moments aren’t all of our moments. Yet the more we think our moments are our best, the more they will be. And the moment we decide that we need to be our best might just be the moment that God’s plan includes us to be the message for someone needing to see that something that helps them cope and overcome.

Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with Dennis’s family, friends, and loved ones. It’s a tough time  for them all. As wonderful as the Christmas season is, Dennis is in the most wonderful place right now, so beautiful, that none of us can comprehend. Have faith, know, and trust that it’s God’s plan.

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