The day after; it’s been just a day, a single day. I went to bed early this evening because I was completely wiped out. Exhausted. All I wanted to do was to lie down, close my eyes, turn my brain off, and drift off to restful slumber. Well, I got some of it done, but the brain just wouldn’t quit. The last few days have been overwhelming for a number of reasons. And after a brief stop on the couch, I find myself here, in front of the keyboard with a headache and nothing specific to write. I have been praying for words over the last two days, and I trust they will come.
Before I go too far with this piece of writing, and I honestly don’t have an idea where this is going to go, but I have a hunch it’ll drift towards an area some 350 miles northeast of here before I get done, I wanted to say a few words to a whole lot of people. First, I am my mother’s son and there was no way my mother was going to miss the remembrance and celebration of Janette Peterson’s life. Second, I am Lloyd and Janette’s nephew and there was no way I was going to miss the remembrance and celebration of Aunt Janette’s life. Third, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you all for the support, for your kind words, and your encouragement. Fourth, I am honored. It is my honor to share the thoughts, memories, perspectives, and principles I have accumulated through the observance of, and interactions with, the tremendous family I have been surrounded by for my entire life. Fifth, I am humbled. I am taken aback, and deeply humbled by the outpouring of comments, thoughts, words, thank you’s, hugs, and encouragement I have received in just the last few days regarding the words I share through writing. I came to New Brunswick like the rest of you, to celebrate and remember Janette, and maybe be the help a friend or family member needed in the moment we were with one another. I struggle to find myself remotely worthy of the praise and the many kind words I have received in the last several days. Finally, I am proud to be the son of a Beal and a Peterson. Biased, I am sure, I don’t think I could have asked God to do me any better than He did. I am the first person in history to be born of both these Beal’s and these Peterson’s, and I couldn’t be more proud of the family members that came before, or since, my existence began.
Since I have started writing on a fairly consistent basis, I find that words often come more easily to me than I ever would have guessed. I mean, when I started writing I laughed at myself (often times, I still do) because I wondered who in the world would ever want to read anything I ever wrote unless it was something about their kid playing in a game or something. Then I asked myself, what on earth would I ever write about? I feared I had nothing to say. Now I find things I would like to write about quite a lot. Then there’s tonight, when I feel like I could take the next two months and write non-stop about the things that have crossed my mind since Friday evening, but I can’t focus in on a single word, let alone a single thought. So, my head just hurts, in part from fatigue, in part from scrambling thoughts, memories, emotions, smiles and fears. Mostly I wonder about my 6 cousins who just lost their mother, and the husband, my uncle, who lost his wife.
I hurt for them. I think of them. I pray for them. I wish myself useful to them. If I could be the door that they all could walk through and be with Janette again, I would pursue each of them and allow them passage again and again. If I could be the last thought in their mind ensuring they drifted off to sleep I would be a memory of Janette that cannot be pondered, ever, without bringing a smile to their lips. If I could be the thing that let them finally expel that deep breath, that let them drop their shoulders, that allowed them to release the tension in their necks, and fondly remember Janette, now at His table, I would be there at the ready urging them to indulge. If I could be the example to them, the one that answered all of life’s questions, or at least gave them proper direction, I would defer, and ask that they just remember Janette, and truly understand all that she was, and for all that she stood for. And if I could be their sincere, silent prayer that ensured that any of them, or their families, could forever be at Janette’s knee, I would be bowed in focused reverence before my Lord whispering the words for them to follow right into salvation.
Well, I wasn’t expecting this to read the way it does, but here it is. I sit in the dark at my computer, wishing I was physically closer to the family in this time of need. Before I head off to bed I just need to say again, Uncle Lloyd, I love you. You know how I felt about Aunt Janette. I love your family, and if I can be of any help, just ask. I miss you all. I pray for all the Peterson’s often, and when I am not praying, it’s quite likely that I am still thinking about you all. It’s been a single day, the day after.
My Aunt Janette.