Get Out of the Way!

Oh, believe me, if I could’ve, I would’ve gotten out of the way. As a child, I wished so badly that I could’ve at least been warned to get out of the waythat a big train was coming and was going to hit me. I wished there had been a way for me to escape my future before I experienced the many losses in my life, big ones that have left a deep impression on me. Losses that I allowed to shape me.

Some losses were completely out of my control, like the death of my brother. When I was 8, he, as a 3-year-old was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nerve cells that develops mostly in children. Without going into detail, and since I’m not a doctor, I’ll stay away from the medical gobbly-goop and stick to what I know. He lived only 2 years after the diagnosis, and in the late 60’s, early 70’s, not much was known about this terrible disease. Nevertheless, it struck our home.

At this point, I had 2 grieving parents, and the grief from the loss of a child is not comparable to anything else as far as losses go. I basically lost my mother at age 11 because she simply could not function. My dad was the next best thing since I didn’t have any other siblings. He, in a way, was both my mother and my father. Trying to get them to stop crying was so difficult, but oh, I tried. And tried, and tried. I learned to play the piano. I tried to get good grades. I went to church. A lot. I memorized Bible verses. I sang in a trio. I was home before curfew. I was sexually pure. I volunteered in the music department. Nothing I did seemed to help. So, because it was my dad’s dream, I went away to university to learn how to teach children to read and write. I left my parents, my boyfriend, and my friends to see if that would stop everyone from crying. Do you think it did? No. You see, you cannot control someone else’s feelings and emotions. I thought I could, so I continued doing what they wanted me to do so they would be proud of the child who was there and to stop missing the child who was gone. I said to my mother one day not too long ago, “Didn’t you just want to die?” She answered, “Yes. But I couldn’t because I had you.” Now, doesn’t that just beat all? She had to keep living because she had me. I mean, it was kind of her not to kill herself, but really?


Get out of the way! I married that boyfriend I mentioned earlier and not quite a year later, my dad passed away from another terrible disease. He’d been diagnosed with Leukemia but couldn’t beat it. It was almost too much for my mother and me to bear. Two huge losses. Her son and now her husband. In a strange way, it didn’t seem to matter to her that I also had 2 huge losses, my brother and my dad. I was quite sure nobody felt the pain I felt. You can’t feel someone else’s even when you’ve gone through the very same thing. Your pain is your own.


Get out of the way! Life continued, but unfortunately, my marriage didn’t. When 2 people come together, each with a broken foundation and don’t fix their own, the outcome is usually bad. So who’s my husband now? The same person who is my dad. My Heavenly Father. He is my husband and my father. I can’t see Him, but he is here with me. How do I know? Because I just know. My Bible is opened beside me now as I write this blogpost. I don’t see how people make it through loss without it.


Sometimes, you just cannot get out of the way. Sometimes, you don’t hear that person who’s yelling so loudly that his or her throat aches the next day. Sometimes, you don’t hear that train coming because nobody is there screaming it to you. You are caught unaware. The train hits. Head on. You’d think, because you’re a Christ-follower that God would jump in front of that train and save you. But He doesn’t. That’s where it can get dicey. Do you trust him or don’t you? Where the rubber meets the road, do you let it go and keep on the path, or do you give up and run? God’s going to do what he’s going to do regardless of what we want. Why? Because He knows EVERYTHING. Have my losses worked together for good because I’m called? Yes. I may not see everything now, but one day, I will. Loss comes to us all because of the sin in our world. But I want you to know that you can get through loss. It’s one of the most difficult things you’ll do, but you’ll survive. Like my mother, you have to. I did it. And it’s so much easier when you have a relationship with the One who’ll never leave you, who will never forsake you.

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Suzanne Sommerville

Life Blogger

Christ-follower, daughter, mom, Mimi to 6 grandchildren, teacher, writer, and musician

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