Last night has to post up there in the top ten of bad ones. Or maybe I should say HARD ones. Here's a little background: Shao has to do a report on someone who is a hero in her life. She, precious girl, chose me. She was given several different virtues, and has to write a paragraph about how her hero (me) embodies that virtue. Over the Christmas break she got started by interviewing me, and asking lots of questions. This week she has begun to write it.
The first paragraph was about fidelity (faithfulness). She equated my promises to the Chinese government that I would care for her, love her, etc., as fidelity. Yep, that was pretty easy. But the second paragraph. OH, the second virtue...that's when things got tough.
She wrote it up on my computer, and then, as is my habit, I looked at it, and went over mistakes, etc. with her, and suggested she change wording, etc., in some places to make the sentence more understandable. So...this virtue was forgiving/forgiveness. And her example? It is something I am working on every day. Some days I am forgiving. Some days I have to hand it all back to the Lord, and ask for help in forgiving.
You see, just after Christmas in 2000, someone killed my 6 year old niece, her half brother, and their mother. He was in custody within 24 hours, has been to trial (a year ago) and is serving 3 consecutive life sentences with no chance for parole. He was 24 at the time of the murder. He had been on the police's radar screen for at least 10 years. He was a bad child, and an even worse man.
But...I am called to forgive. And I do NOT want my life to be about hate. I can't live there. I can't do that. But forgiveness...that is hard. That is a daily handing over to God. And this is not something I can discuss within my family, which makes it even harder. Because they do NOT forgive him. They hate him with every fiber of their beings, and probably always will. And if I told them my feelings, they would probably never speak to me again, as they would see it as a betrayal. So it is a heavy burden, this need to forgive.
And the hard part of last night? Well, in her paragraph, Shao wrote that someone had come in to their home and shot them. But that was incorrect, and without thinking, I corrected that. When she re-read it, it was devastating to her. And I understand. Because interestingly enough, when I was told that Rachel, Kyle and Kitty had been killed, in their beds, I figured they had been shot, also. And no one thought to tell me any different. Until the next night...when I was watching the evening news. And that was the big story, of course. And the reporter began to tell how they were stabbed with a knife. And somehow...that seemed so much more terrible. I don't know why. I guess because I felt if he had shot them, it at least was quick, and hopefully they did not even have time to wake up. But that was not the case. And I stood in my mother's living room, and felt like swooning...or throwing up...or screaming. Forever. I began to sob. ShaoXi is her mother's child. Somehow, we think alike. And it broke her heart all over again to learn the truth. And mine as well, for her sake.
So it was a late night. She needed to talk. She needed to be reassured. She needed to just sit by me. We cried together. We discussed it a little. She was only four, so remembers bits and pieces, but not the whole. It was so sad. And I had to tell her...it does NOT get easier. I no longer cry every single morning upon awakening. I don't, truthfully, think about Rachel every day. And MOST of the time, when I come across a photo of her, I smile, not sob. But sometimes...oh, sometimes it is fresh and new and raw, and it hurts SO much. And I can barely talk. And I miss her. I miss her terribly. She would be turning 16 this March. Almost grown. I wonder what she would have been like. I KNOW she would have been gorgeous. She was a beautiful kid.
Some times being a parent is so very hard. It hurts me when my child is sad. And it is even worse when we are both heartbroken and sad at the same time. I hope I was able to comfort her. I hope she is okay. She slept with the night light on. I understand. For a year after Rachel died, I did not sleep much at night. EVERY sound was that of a burglar breaking in. I was living in fear, and it was not a happy thing. I no longer live that way. And I try not to go back there. Last night was tough, but I was okay.
I miss you, Rach! I'll see you again, I know. But I have to wait awhile...my mission down here isn't over yet! I still have lots to do. But some day...some day I'll get to hug you, and I won't have to let go for all of eternity. That's a happy thought, one I'll hang onto!