When Jeseca passed away holding my hand in the hospital, all I wanted was for God to stop the clock; to stop the world from spinning — just for a day — so I could stop and think. But He didn’t. Instead, just moments after I watched her vital signs all fall to zero, I had to decide how our boys would say goodbye……if they would at all. Half a dozen nurses, doctors and social workers were flooding in and out of the room as I sat there in disbelief, and it was all I could do to keep from locking the door behind them when they left. I did ask for a few minutes to myself, which they politely gave. And in those five minutes of prayer, I realized the emotion and anquish with which Job must have praised the Lord after hearing that he had just lost everything. I imagine he gritted his teeth, forcing himself to say those famous words, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” That’s what I did……every word true, and yet every syllable so difficult to say.
Here we are, five weeks later, and I thank God for His amazing consistency, and for not stopping the clock. Many, many things have transpired over these past five weeks, and all of them have helped to bring about at least a sense of healing for me and the boys. I had a most unique “I love you” from the Lord on the golf course. I’ve watched two amazing young women open the doors to my boys’ hearts and minds in their respective classrooms (Thank you, Ali and Jamie). And I’ve had the opportunity to read through the many journal entries Jeseca and I wrote over the past four years.
What I can say now (and I will look for more opportunities to do so in the future), is that God is incredibly wonderful, and that Jeseca knew Him more deeply than anyone I have ever met. I am in the process of transcribing her journals (a project I have titled, “Beautiful Journey”), and am fairly confident you will feel the same way after reading them. Quite honestly, I never knew such a relationship could exist between one person and the creator of the universe. And I yearn for it in my own life now more than ever.
As for the boys, they are both doing well. We’ve started to do two new things here at home. First, every morning on the way to school I ask the boys to listen for God’s still, small voice. We bought a journal specifically to write down what we believe God is saying to us on a daily basis. Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice…” I want them to start listening so that they will never confuse His voice with anyone else’s.
Second, we have a weekly “Family Music Night,” where I turn on a sampling of some of the finest classical music pieces by Dvorak, Beethoven, Mozart and others, and just speak quietly to the boys on the couch. Christian lies down in my lap, while Everen (the most restless kid I have ever met) grabs a pillow and blanket and does his very best to figure out how not to be quiet and listen. Eventually he calms down (usually after Christian falls asleep), and we end up talking about his mom and how much she loved and cherished the time she was able to spend with them. It is a sweet, sweet time that God has given us together. And I pray that we (the 3GBs) will follow in Jeseca’s footsteps on that Beautiful Journey to the gates of Heaven. We all should. Lord, help us to open our mouths and take as many people with us as we can.
From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.
Treasure your family. Love your friends. Find your purpose. And have more fun!