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Ozarks RFD: Love and loss without end


I told myself I wouldn’t write this column, but Angela just won’t let go, nor would I wish it so. This is for all who mourn Angelas of their own:

Sunday, April 21, 1991 — 33 years ago — my firstborn daughter died in a car crash at age 19. The details of that fateful morning matter little now. All that remains significant is her absence and my ceaseless pondering what might have been.

I’m sure I’m not alone, lamenting less my loss than the hopes and dreams she could never realize — all that she might have been frozen in time.

Whatever her future might have been, I’m certain it would have been great. Ending her first year at Central Missouri State University, she had excelled as an Army ROTC cadet, but was compelled for medical reasons to refocus her goals at midterm from a military career to government service.

She might have been a foreign diplomat, or she might have married her steady guy and started a family. The possibilities were infinite, as with most at age 19. What could have been, though, we’ll never know. All of her tomorrows perished in an instant of drowsiness at the wheel of her little Honda.

I thank God for the 19 years Angela blessed us, yet, her absence remains a fathomless hole in my heart. I wasn’t prepared for the Lord to call her back, but even as I write this, I am reminded of Christ’s words to the Father, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours.”

None but parents who have lost a child to an untimely death can truly understand. God’s will can be a bitter pill. Even we who have experienced it don’t fully understand the fog of grief that encompasses us, then slips away as silently as it arrived. Love unending is the only explanation, and as modern troubadours put it, love hurts.

We tell ourselves we’re doing fine, coping well, though often in the stillness before daylight, we’re not.

But even in those melancholy moments, remembering through tears is still a blessing.

Copyright 2024, James E. Hamilton; email jhamilton000@centurytel.net. Read more of his works in Ozarks RFD 2010-2015, available online from Amazon or from the author.


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