Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day Twenty - From the height of joy to the depth of despair.

There is a brief respite in sight this coming week. The temperature is supposed to break down into the 80's. Hallelujah for small blessings!

I talked about the difficult delivery of our forth child in April of 1995. I stayed in the hospital for five days. I lost so much blood but the doctor said that because I was in really good shape they didn't have give me any blood which was fortunate. We came home on May 3rd. My parents were in route to North Carolina after a brief stint in Dallas and subsequent drive to Houston to attend the International Film Festival with my older brother and oldest sister. My brother had been nominated for an award for a documentary he produced and directed about the US Coast Guard. (Help me get this straight family.) My brother and his wife, my sister and her daughter and my parents all attended the festivities. As they sat there at a table of PBS producers/directors and others my brother thought that the nomination/award was so small that they chose not to mention it during the awards so he was ready to leave and go back to the room when my sister urged him to stay.

They continued to listen to the different nominations and subsequent awards being announced, people coming to the stage accepting their awards and reciting their acceptance speeches. It got down to the very last award, the Grand Award for Best Film and Video in 1995 for the Houston International Film Festival and I can imagine the drum roll, the anticipation, the sweat running off people's brows when they announced none other than my brother's name. My sister jumped up and began screaming and whooping and hollering. I'm doubtful that my mom and dad did, however; I can see them quietly sitting, smiling and holding their heads high with pride thinking quietly to themselves, "That's OUR son."

Wow, what elation. That was phenomenal. From the height of joy..........

I don't exactly remember the sequence of the film festival and my delivery but it was all around the same time. After I got home from the hospital and settled in for a day or two, the children were all in bed, the baby was next to me in his bassinet and we were all in a deep sleep. You can imagine the fear and anticipation we felt when the phone rang around 2:00 in the morning. It was my oldest sister. She was frantic, trying to find my mom and dad. She said, "I think Jared died. I have to find out where Mother and Daddy are. Do you know?" Jared, my middle sister's oldest child had suffered a heart attack. By the time the paramedics made it to their house he was gone. He was only twelve years old. I called my parents who were staying in a hotel nearby and woke them up. They had just arrived in Nashville to spend time with us since the baby had been born and to help me at the house while I recovered. That morning they arrived at our house at 6:00 a.m. making arrangements to drive back to Dallas that day to be with my middle sister and her family and to help in funeral arrangements.

From the height of joy and life to the depth of despair and death.

How can you explain God in all this? Why is there so much suffering? Why did Jared have to die so young? Why did my son live? How can one family have so much joy and without even a glance so much pain within days if not minutes? There have been many books written on this subject and without reading most of them I can take an educated guess that each writer has his or her own opinion and none of them are the same. The only response I can give without going into a diatribe of my own personal opinion is to quote from John 6:68b. "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

God is good. All the time.

© Copyright 2009 Janet Calcote Simmons All rights reserved.


  1. Belated I know, but my sincere condolences to your whole family.....lafm

  2. The film was called "The Strongest Link", I think...Oddly enough, it was a film about the excellent Houston Emergency Medical System and how well it runs and also the emotional aspect of some of it's workers. So there it is, another "connection" with your ambulance heroes.