This weekend was long enough as it was, being the last weekend of principle photography (production shooting) for our Sr. short film Cinema Project. We shot almost all day Friday, then an even longer all day final shoot Saturday, then the majority of Sunday was spent in the TV studio as student producers doing videos for the new JBU website.
Afterwards when Andrew was working on editing those videos, I read a facebook message from Robyn, my old friend from youth group in San Antonio, letting me know that my first (and only other) boyfriend, Garrett Lierly, had committed suicide. I was 1/2 way through a peanut butter cookie and had to put it down from becoming suddenly nauseous. Please be praying for his family in San Antonio during this time.
Garrett Lierly, Jan. 1983 - Nov. 2010
We were just a teenage a couple for something like a short 3 months or something, our Freshman year of high school, but stayed friends in the youth group we were part of for the next couple years. I switched churches my Junior year, and haven't seen him much at all since our Sr. year when he transferred from his private school (where my father-in-law incidentally now works as upper school principle) to Winston Churchill High with me. I remember things kinda weird with him, like he was a really different person then, and from updates I'd hear every once in awhile, I guess it kept going that way for him. From The Outsiders 'Greaser' hair & leather, to mohawks & piercings. Not that those outward expressive styles are bad, but apparently some more destructive habits came with them for him.
So I haven't known him for years, but hearing this news was till greatly saddening. It's so tragic, especially for his lovely family. He has a younger brother, Ian, and two really great Christian parents. I haven't ever really been faced with someone's suicide before (apart from a dear college friend's brother, whom I hadn't met before) and its' really confusing. So sad, and mostly sadness for others, I'm sad for his family; but it also makes one kindof mad too, and you're not even sure who you're mad at. It sucks, really. And then there's the why, and how does this sortof thing come to happen to people who are surrounded by loving, Christian people? Doesn't seem like it should work that way.
Right here I must say how much I love my dear Husband (and the family he's from). He's so wise and loving. Andrew and I ended up staying up real late talking about all these kinds of things, and went into a lot of interesting theology I hadn't delved into in a long time, or some possibly even at all. We came to some really eye-opening conclusions. We figured out some encouraging ideas, and came up with a few more confusing ones along the way, too. God sure has some mysteries that don't seem to make things easier, but we take solace in the fact that we know He is so much wiser and has bigger plans for a greater good somewhere, even where it doesn't seem possible (or fair) to us.
My late Great Uncle Gerald Mooney
(the one behind my cousin Owen)
(the one behind my cousin Owen)
The other weirdness that made this last days so surreal, was that after all that last night. This morning I found out my Dear Great Uncle Gerald died. Though this was a much 'happier' death (that shouldn't come off as insensitive, I promise). Gerald Mooney was married to my Aunt Nancy Mayfield, who was my GrandDad's sister. Nancy & Gerald were 2 of the most wonderful people God has blessed my family with. They were both such fun, interesting, inspiring, kind, God-loving people. Aunt Nancy was someone I specifically looked up to & wanted to model myself after. She was fiery & passionate, and so full of Joy. A very strong woman, also dainty & beautiful. With a big laugh, who was so encouraging, & also outspoken to those she cared for, and outspoken about her faith in the Lord. In a really good, contagious way.
Her husband loved her so much, too. His was a very inspiring, obvious Love. Uncle Gerald was always so kind and sweet & fun to talk to. I especially remember how excited he was to talk to me about flying when I expressed interest in flying planes like my GrandDad, a while back. He was so encouraging and excited, and lifted your spirits just talking with him & seeing his joy in life. Though you could also tell he was always a very sensitive, empathetic man, because he spoke of my GrandDad, his friend, with such love & sadness in his passing. He was very open and truthful about his feelings & thoughts when it came to the people he loved & lost, like his wife & my GrandDad. He had a powerful love you could see, and hear, & feel.
After his wife died a couple of years ago, you could tell he was crushed, and his last couple years without her was a struggle, so I am actually quite relieved & happy for him, to know that he is done with all of that here. He doesn't have to keep struggling or harboring those sad feelings anymore. I know he is now in the most perfect place, with his wife, her brother, and our Father. I was told his last words were: "I see God, I see Jesus, they are beautiful." And my cousin, Karise, put it this way: "Uncle Gerald died this morning after a terrible battle with Alzheimer's Disease. I know he has been reunited with my Aunt Nancy in heaven. He was a professor, a pilot, an avid train enthusiast and a wonderful father/grandfather/uncle/man/friend."
I'll miss him, Aunt Nancy & my other family there with him, but I'm so glad & encouraged they're no longer dealing with this fallen world. They are so loved.