The Passing of a Friend

It’s 7:15pm on Sunday, August 17, 2014.  I probably shouldn’t be writing a blog right now because of how frustrated I am of this day.  Today is the second full day home with the kids while Lindsay is away enjoying her girls weekend out.  My crutch of a babysitter, the TV, is not available this month. It’s me and four little ones that demand 100% of me.

Yesterday I filled some of the time watching a double feature at the cheap movie theater in Kent.  This morning, two other dads and I had church in one of the homes for the kids, it was cool but only took up 4 hours of my day.  Now, at 7pm, the house, front and back yard, and rooms are a mess.  Each child talks back and doesn’t respond unless I raise my voice (that is my fault for raising them to react to the boom my voice can project).  I get it, they are just kids, but I’m disgusted that through all this if I turned on the TV they would sit quietly and I’d have some peace.  What a dangerous game we as parents play when we rely on a box that is the devil’s pulpit.

The frustration continues with my throbbing foot, the amount of work todos with my day job, side project and music, and you already know about the kids who are on volume 11 all day and the only word I can think of is WHY?

Why did Karmen have to die Lord?

It doesn’t seem fair.

Every hospital visit to my dad I could count on three things.

  1. My dad laying in bed grumpy or not conscience.
  2. My mom being a busy bee working on logistics making sure everything and everyone was alright.
  3. And Karmen. My mom’s friend who came to visit my dad in the hospital.

Every Time.

My dad is older.  My dad has had numerous health issues these last 2-3 years.  My dad had no oxygen to his brain and heart not pumping for 45 minutes, a dead man that should have stayed dead, yet he lives.

Karmen was a ray of sunshine in the hospital room.  When my mom was at her worst, and needed someone to rely on it wasn’t me.  (If you don’t know it by now I’m not the most warm and fuzzy human on the plant).

It was Karmen.

momkarmen

When the doctor’s shared bad news after bad news, and I believed them to the point of thinking about planning for my dad’s funeral, it was Karmen that had the faith of a mustard tree (not seed) assuring my mom God had bigger plans.

I’ll never forget after a night of worship that I led in 2007 or 2008 it was Karmen that came up to me and said ‘this is what you need to do and will do!’  She knew art and was part of the creative.  She saw that in me and regardless of the valley I was in she reminded me that better things were to come.  I have a lot of friends in the creative and she was the only that constantly reminded me of my destiny.  Funny, I never told her about my dreams, she saw it in me.

Honestly, I never once doubted that she wouldn’t pull out of this.  I visited her a few weeks ago in the home she was in and had the privilege of seeing her without makeup on.  She was just as beautiful.  She smiled when I walked in and I thought was very alert as I spoke to her and her family.  That visit confirmed to me that she would come out of this and have a story to share alongside my dad.

Today I received a text from my mom:  Karmen is with Jesus now.

As I type those words I still can’t believe it.  She’s gone.  I think the the biggest thing I’m mad about is that she won’t be a part of my dad’s resurgence.  When we as Christians rise up from the ashes and embrace our second wind receiving our full destiny it’s beautiful, powerful and impactful to others.

Karmen was one of the few that I wanted to be there with when my dad would have all that God has promised.  My dad will reach that mark, he is at the start of his fulfillment now, he has reached his second wind.  Selfishly, I wanted to talk to her about those many visits we had in the hospital and look, my dad, had fully recovered!  My dad was doing what she said he would do.  It doesn’t seem fair to me that she’s gone.

I hate death, which quite frankly is why I’m such a Jesus freak.  I’m comforted, a little jealous, and at peace that she’s probably dancing with the King of Kings right now.  I bet if she could, she’d tap me on the shoulder and remind me of what I do and who I am as part of the creative.  She would point me to the song I wrote many years ago about my cousin who went to be with the Lord.  The song was sung from the perspective of the one that is in Heaven.

The song starts with the lyrics: If you could see what I see, you’d wipe away the tears.

It continues with words describing what she sees:  It’s like sunrise in the morning on the day of your first born, if you could see what I see, you’d know I’m finally home.  

You can hear it here:

http://www.myspace.com/troyjonathanritchie

It’s the third track, and the only place the song is available.  I don’t ever login to myspace and haven’t figured out how to get my music back but if it comforts you like it comforted me just now please take a few minutes to listen.

Karmen, I’m going to miss you.  You will never know how much you impacted my life in never doubting the promises of God.  Have fun up there.  Make sure to hug my baby #5 and tell her I love her.

-Troy

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jenni says:

    Leaving comments doesn’t feel real good right now but reading others does… So, thank you for sharing!

  2. poetreearborist says:

    I believe Karmen was ready to go home. I know she never had any fear of leaving this world. I’m sure her reunion with the Beloved was one of pure joy. She’s free of any brokenness now. She’s beyond our vision, but not beyond our feeling and not out of existence. I cry for those of us, for friends and family left behind. But I remember that Karmen witnessed angels at other people’s deathbeds. I believe thousands of powerful angels came to soothe and whisk her away when she was ready. May they stay close in these days to come, to comfort her husband and son.

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