The loss of a loved one is probably one of the hardest things to deal with. Losing a child, is the hardest. It is like losing a piece of yourself, one of your greatest investments. The first time you hold your baby, look into his eyes, is the first time you know what it means to love someone more than life itself. The last time I looked into his eyes, I didn’t know it would be the last…
I loved that boy more than any father could. We had originally come from Alberta, Canada, moved to Manitoba and resided there. Our extended family was still in Alberta, and my wife was going with our son to visit them for two weeks while I stayed home. My son was just 18 months old, bright-eyed, and even with his cleft lip he smiled the cutest smile.
Two weeks went by. Then three. Then months. They never came back home.
My ex found whatever reason she could to avoid contact between me and my son. So after a year or so I managed to secure a good job and a bank that would lend me funds for a lawyer. If I had known then the price I would pay, I wouldn’t have wasted my time. But I had to try whatever I could in my power to have my son in my life. By this point, I didn’t even know him anymore, and my memory of him was becoming a blur.
For years I fought for my son, which resulted in a total sum of $70,000 in lawyer fees. I was falsely accused, frowned upon, and isolated. Even with clear evidence, my word was dismissed. My son’s cleft lip was even used as a reason that I couldn’t care for him. I managed to squeeze in two visits in those years, which I paid a pretty penny for. The last day that I fought for my son in court, I was offered two options: keep fighting and paying to get nowhere, or give up. The choice still pains me, but I took the latter. It seemed as if there was no option.
That time was ridden with pain. Blame. I hated God for the loss and questioned where He was during all of this, or how He could be a loving God at all. I found other ways to cope while I suffered with depression. It became my mission to make others laugh, smile, and just take the edge off. I did that through comedy, and I became one of the funniest guys you would know. It helped, but I still felt that emptiness. I still felt depression creeping in.
It has been about 7 years now, and I still am paying those court costs. I lost my son for an undetermined amount of time. That loss of time I will never get back. I still pray for the day we can be reunited. I miss him, but I continue on with life. Most people don’t understand or want to hear my pain. I have however, connected with a great group of guys who show Christ’s unfailing love.
What do you do when things go horribly wrong? Do you blame yourself? Do you blame God? How do you cope? There are no perfect lives or perfect stories. There are no perfect people. However, our greatest struggles can reveal our greatest strengths. Overall, I think you just gotta laugh.
“Don’t let the world change your smile, but let your smile change the world.”
Also, in life you should always be prepared. I always carry a flashlight with me. That way, if someone locks me in their car trunk, I can entertain myself with cool shadow puppets.
If you missed last week’s true story, read it here.