Soon we’ll be in Huntington Beach again gathering for my BIL’s services and funeral. As we age we face the reality that family gatherings contrast dramatically between joy and sorrow. The last time I was in Southern California my time was divided between the Critical Care hospital waiting room and a beautiful setting at a joyful baby shower for a much anticipated arrival come January, a new grand niece.
I will do a full post on the lovely baby shower in the future.
This time when we head to Southern California more of us will gather around my sister and her kids as we lay Nick to rest at the Riverside National Cemetery. We don’t grieve as those who have no hope. We have hope and confidence that God has prepared a place for Nick. We will hug old friends and the Russians among us will welcome each other with a kiss.
When I was spending time in the waiting room at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills my eyes were opened to other families in the waiting room and how similar different cultures are at these critical times. Our first night at Cedar’s there was a Hispanic extended family taking up every chair and some on the floor of the waiting area. At least 20 or more. They vacated some chairs so my sister and I could sit down, too. As some of them left to go home they went around to each of their friends and family and gave them a hug and a kiss on the cheek. They even turned to us and gave us a kind farewell. The longer we sat together the more connected we became. The matriarch of the family offered us some food. She also shushed any of the younger folk who’s chatter got to loud. When we left we said goodbye and God Bless you. Their eyes lit up and they smiled and said God bless you, too.
We were glad the waiting room had large windows that made the space feel lighter.
We all find ourselves in a variety of waiting rooms throughout our lives. What are you waiting for? What is your hope?
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. Galatians 5:5
For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:10