Happy Birthday, Dearest Friend!

Today, April 18, 2008, marks what would have been the 30th birthday of my best friend, Natalie Dyck.  This morning on my way to Court for work, I caught myself glance at the sky and whisper, “How are you, my friend?  You are missed!” 

I had an amazing evening with her parents tonight as we shared a meal and enjoyed watching the Rivercats (our local minor league baseball team) beat their opponents.  We laughed at the young children in the crowd as they did their best to catch every foul ball and participated with the rest of the stadium singing to the old favorite “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”…Never far though, were thoughts of Natalie! 

Each birthday that passes gets a little less difficult to face and driving home from the game tonight, I thought about how proud Natalie would be for the way that we loved her and continue to love her and celebrate memories of her life.  Natalie will always be missed but I am part of who I am today because of the deep impact she had on me in the twelve years I was blessed to know her. 

This June, I will remember back to eight years ago when God decided it was “her time.”  What that means exactly, I still don’t quite have a grasp on, but what I do know is that the Lord has been faithful to bring me from one side of sorrow and despair into a life that again knows deep joy.   I love you my friend!  I remember!

 

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So this weekend, I officially became a “baby snatcher”…also known as a social worker for CPS.  The past seven days of my life have been anything but glamorous, and I am beginning to come to the conclusion that there is little about life that makes perfect sense, but we do the best we can with what we have been given.  How is it that calling the police for an escort into a home to remove a two-week old infant from the parents has become “normal” for me and how is it that I continue to work this job when just today, I had to move a foster child into her fourth home in a year as the foster mother looked her in the eyes and without the slightest bit of sympathy or hesitation, excitedly said, “Yes!  You’re moving to another house!”  Not even fully moved out, the foster mother then called her housekeeper to clean the remains of the child’s room.  It is days like today that I turn my eyes toward heaven and can only think, “Really God?  Is this the best we can do for your kids?”  I believe that we all have a special plan for our lives but seeing the look of pure, unadulterated rejection in that young girl’s eyes, I have to wonder what lesson she will take from that moment.  My heart hurts tonight and yet somehow, some way, the Lord will give me the strength to get up tomorrow and try again…and my prayer tonight will be that somehow, some way, the Lord will give that young girl the strength to get up tomorrow and try again.