God Got It Wrong

It’s the end of February. Time for me to think back on the time I thought, “God got it wrong…”

Six years ago this day, He took her home, leaving me alone with three children ages, 4, 7 and 9, and an emptiness in my soul. I was convinced He got it wrong. I should’ve been the one to die. The children would’ve been far better off with Cathy than I. She would be much better suited to raising them alone than I. Moms are like that. They know where everything is: The clean sheets, the cheese grater, the batteries for the remote. They know where the heart is too. They know just when to offer that soft touch, when the kids have fallen off their bikes, or get tagged out at home plate, or don’t get asked out by the cute boy.

God got it wrong. That thought festered a while. Then time did its thing.

They say that time heals all wounds. I’d say that, at best, it smooths over the rough edges of grief, but time never actually heals the wound. It’s been six years now and the hole in my heart gapes open wide for any who passes by too close. Ask me about her and I’ll tell you some funny stories and remember her infinite love for children, friends and family… Eventually, if we talk long enough, I’ll shed some tears. There’s no avoiding it really. The loss is just so… relentless.

Yet we are blessed beyond rational thought. Our family has grown, in size and in love. Cathy’s children are thriving, hopeful, faithful… all of the things she wanted them to be. And, miraculously, her home is filled with the love of two additional children now, something that would simply ignite her smile and her heart.

It’s important to remember that the miraculous things that followed her passing have not happened because she died. In fact, they happened because she lived. Hers was a most graceful life and so, it’s fitting, that in it’s wake, grace is what remains.

It remains my prayer that I honor that graceful life. I really do try. I’ve learned many things. I’ve learned that God doesn’t get things wrong… I do. That’s okay because it’s what I do next that matters the most. I’ve learned how to soften my touch when the kids need it the most. And I’ve finally learned where the batteries are for the remote.

Of course, now I can’t find the remote.

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9 thoughts on “God Got It Wrong

  1. I just finished reading the final chapter of your book, The Color of Rain. A very dear friend of mine encouraged me to read it and I’m so glad she did. Five years this coming May on the 7th my very best friend, my husband and the father of my 3 children passed on to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father. He to Gina said it was a ” Win-win situation”. Our family has gone thorough the roller coaster of grief and seasons, but we know that our God is for us. And the road of pain does lead to the road of peace, for God has blessed me with a truly remarkable man again. His name is John and his wife and mother of his 2 children also went to her new home in heaven 4 years ago. We had known each other for years before cancer slipped into our lives, isn’t it truly amazing how God is present and working always. We are in love with each other, praying every day for His direction and hand to be on us and our 5 children (4 boys and a girl). Every chapter I would read was unbelievable, it was like reading our story. Pray for our family and know that Im thanking God for yours.

    Hope Watkins

  2. I knew when i started reading this book it would bring back so many sad memories. Without going into much detail, I feel like my life reads like a soap opera, and if someone were to tell me it was really true , i wouldn’t believe them. in 1998 my sister was diagnosed with a GBM. She was on the phone telling my sister about her wedding plans when she suffered the first seizure. Eighteen months later she passed away. We were blessed to have her 18 months, and she was able to get married after she started treatments, she was 55. While that sister was having treatment, another sister had a recurrence with breast cancer. On a family vacation 2 years later i was told by her husband that she had 1 month to live, the breast cancer had spread, she passed away 3 days before her 60th birthday. My mother watched another of her children go before her. Two years later, in 2004, while on vacation my sister-in-law noticed a ‘rash’ on my brother. On their return home he was taken to the hospital for testing. A blood test showed he needed a bone marrow biopsy which confirmed he had leukemia..Two bone marrow transplants later my baby brother, the father of 4 high school children, joined my two sisters in heaven. Again my sweet, wonderful mother found her youngest child was gone. We told her this heartbreaking news while she, herself, was in the ICU recovering from a mild heart attack.Finally 4 years later, God decided it was time for my mother to be joined with her 3 children, and he called her home. The terrible trials and tribulations of cancer is so sad. My brother loved his children and his wife. he loved his community and basketball and coaching children. my sisters were athletes, one ran marathons. The other couldn’t sit still for more than 5 minutes at a time. I watched them go thru chemo and radiation and surgeries. My brother, the one I looked up to, never complained, but i could see the sadness in his eyes, knowing he wouldn’t be there for his children. And even though this book made me cry, it made me realize never to give up hope, and to know that God has a plan even if we may not understand it. I know i haven’t come to terms with all the losses i have had, and I fear for my future, yet i try to be thankful for everyday. I am so happy for the Spehn family, that they have found happiness and each other.

  3. What a beautifully written post. Was thinking of you and the kids over the past couple of weeks. Yes, God always gets it right… if only we were privy to the entire plan from the beginning… to see the “right” through his eyes… faith :)

  4. As a 7th grade girl, 8th grader Cathy helped me feel included with the older girls, and taught me the lyrics to significant Beatles songs. She ALWAYS loved people. God gifted her that way. Remembering her legacy and lifting up her family in prayer tonight. j.

  5. Wow. Lou Lou is emotional,…can you believe it?! Thank you, that was beautiful and true,…because of her life, grace remains. Hugs to all of you!!

  6. Michael thanks for sharing this with us today. I think you are absolutely spot on with comment that loss is relentless. You and Gina are a gift of God to so many by the example you set and the stories you share. Thank you for helping the rest of us get through trying times. You touch more people than you know.

  7. Today I found out an acquaintance of mine passed away. Marty Furlong had a wife and four kids. He was a trader, like me. Younger. Much younger. He had stomach cancer.

    Just tweeted this. Hope his wife gets it and she finds some hope.

  8. Wonderful story about Cathy. I am on Chapter 40 in your book The Color of Rain. Loving your story. Thank you Michael and Gina for sharing your love stories with us. God has blessed all of you through the tears and laughter. So gld you two found each other. God bless your blended family!