Hey Friends –
My husband John came downstairs today and said, “Is today the day?” I paused for a moment and then he whispered, “You know, December 10th” and then gave me a big hug. I tell you what, friends–John Bultema is a gift.
In case you’re wondering what the big deal is about December 10th, read on. These words were penned a few years ago on this date, but you’ll understand why December 10 is my hardest, saddest day ever….
It happened already this morning.
I came downstairs early while the house was still dark, quietly clicked on the TV, and began watching the news to plan my day.
Would they cancel school because of the snow? Would I have hot lunch duty? Could I keep my coffee date with a friend? And then, suddenly on the screen of my TV, they displayed the date, “December 10th.”
My stomach formed a deep, painful knot and the tears began to flow.
Today’s date, “December 10th” represents to me…
raw, gut-wrenching grief
I’ve tried to reframe the day, sleep it away, pretend it doesn’t exist. Stuffing doesn’t work, nor does numbing. My heart and mind are triggered back to that painful night instantly when I see the date.
December 10th wasn’t always such a hard day.
In fact, for many weeks, we were eagerly anticipating the 10th of December.
My fiance David and I were in the midst of planning our upcoming May 1st wedding. I had my beautiful wedding dress, joy-filled bridesmaids, and maid of honor. We booked the church and reception hall and DJ. David had my sparkly ring.
We had many other wedding details yet to plan.
However, I also had a huge licensing review at work to be completed on December 10th. Although I was looking forward to wedding planning, I needed to focus on my work project first. Once finished, I could give the wedding planning my all.
And with one phone call everything changed.
I arrived at my parents home after my licensing review on December 10, 1998 to pick up my 4 year old son Jake. Whew! I can start planning my wedding now. Yippee!
David called to see how it went at work. “Fabulous,” I shared!
He wanted to hear all about it, but instead I insisted he wrap things up at work so I could tell him in person. It was 5:15 PM. “Great”, David replied. “I need to check on one more thing at work, see if your brother Bryan is here, and then I’ll be by to pick up you and Jake as quick as I can. Let’s go out and celebrate! I should be there in 30 minutes.”
I stretched out on the couch, exhausted, waiting for David to come.
He never came.
Even though I had slightly dozed off on the couch, I heard the phone ring. And then I heard the whispering. My mom and dad came in the family room and stood over me. “Cindy,” my mom shared, “there’s been an accident. Your brother Bryan just called from work. David’s been in an accident.”
Shoot! We were supposed to go to the Michael W. Smith concert tomorrow. Did he break his arm? Would we need to give away our tickets? No big deal. I’d spend the weekend in a hospital chair near his bed if needed.
Wherever David was is where I wanted to be.
“Where is he?” I asked. Did I need to meet him at the hospital? Could I drive him there myself?
“Cindy, we just need to pray,” my mom responded.
Suddenly I realized David just didn’t break his arm. I ran upstairs and began calling my friends to pray. I had only been a Christian for two years, but I could tell in my mom’s voice that we needed prayer. And quickly.
While I was on the other line with a friend, my brother Bryan called.
“How is he, Bry?” I asked.
“Cindy, let me talk to mom.”
“No, Bry, first tell me how David is. Do I need to come to work? Is he already at the hospital?”
“Cindy, let me talk to mom.”
“Bry, just tell me…”
And then my brother shared the painful, life altering, gut wrenching words….
“I’m sorry Cindy, he’s gone….”
I threw myself down the stairs weeping and wailing. My parents, unaware that Bryan had called, watched helplessly as I, their only daughter, threw myself down in a heap on their hard wood floor and began pounding my fists violently into the ground.
“No! No! No!” was all I could say….
Before long, their house was filled with people.
My best friend Michele…who “just knew” to come, even before she heard what happened.
My pastor and his wife.
So many others.
At one point, I cleared everyone out of the room, except my pastor friend Rob. We sat on my parents steps while I wept. Through my tears I asked him over and over again, “Why? Why? Why would God allow this?”
David often said he would give his life for just one person to know Jesus. WHY would God take him home??…….
And this painful, long, heart-breaking night is what I remember everytime I see or hear “December 10th.”
In an instant, I am back to my parents home. I hear the sounds. I remember the loss. I feel the extreme, gut-wrenching pain.
Thank you, dear bloggy friends, for allowing me to share this part of my journey with you. Today was the first time I’ve ever typed out the details of the night. God does not waste our pain ~ of this, I am sure.
And thank you to my husband John for his extra sensitivity and grace on this day. John is God’s special gift to me.
May we experience all that He has for us today.
Although we don’t know what the future holds, we do know the One who holds the future…and He is faithful and loving and true. It’s gonna be ok.
P.S. Remember how I shared that David said he would give his life for just one person to know Jesus. Two days later, at David’s funeral, my Dad (who had been an atheist/agnostic) accepted Jesus as His Savior!
Cindy, your heartbreaking story is so painful and so beautiful. God certainly hasn’t wasted any of your tears. He’s been making you into a beautiful woman with stories to share and the boldness to share them. And, I praise God that he put John in your life. What a guy!
I’m praying that soon the reminder from the calendar is less painful and more beautiful.
Although this is not the first time you have shared your testimony, each time is strikes through my heart as if it is the very first time…and I sit here weeping…for the inescapable pain and loss…for those I know who held you during those moments and the days beyond…for the crushing sadness…and also in joy for your Dad’s transformation. Love You <3 (((HUGS)))
I remember reading your story before and how it brought tears to my eyes. As I read it again tears are streaming down my face. So thankful that God brought you out of that painful time to be a blessing to others and thankful he gave you the gift of your husband who understands and loves you enough to be extra sensitive on this day.
In His Calm,
Prayers and hugs. As you know, God puts every tear we cry in a bottle. They matter to Him. He has not forgotten. Thanks for sharing. I never tire of your story.
5 years ago today our beloved 23 year old son-in-law died of cancer. They were married 4-1/2 years. Illness only started with double vision after a belated honeymoon. 2-1/2 years later the Lord healed him by taking him home. He lived till he died and we miss him to this day and I’m sure we always will. Our family is better for our time with him, all of our time with him. Our daughter was blessed to find the 2nd love of her life and is married again. We are truly blessed.
I’m praying for you today Cindy. You are such an amazing and incredible woman. God is doing so much through you and your heart for others…We certainly will never know why such heartbreak comes to such wonderful and good people (or anyone), but thank you for sharing your story and your faith. Extra hugs to you today.
You are a woman of courage! Courage to allow your pain to be used by God to comfort others with the same comfort you yourself have received from your Lord and Savior! Looking forward to our paths crossing again as the Lord allows.
I am sorry–my heart breaks. Today is a special day for me too–but in a VERY opposite way–today I celebrate my daughters 7th birthday. Each day I pray for people who are born and people who have died–so I have prayed for David today–without even knowing him or you–but your story brings the importance of prayers to the forefront. How many times can we pray joyfully knowing that it will go where it is needed.
(((Hugs))) to you today my friend.
Hugs and prayers coming your way. Thinking of you and your family.
sobbing all over my computer here!
Your story touches me EVERY time! I know you went through an awful time of grief and that your sweet husband, John, is ever sensitive of this day. But what honestly strikes me most is the cry of David’s heart to see one person come to know Christ and it was YOUR dad. How awesome the way God used him and not in the way you hoped, but now both of your men will live forever in heaven. May this day always revive those precious memories of your David, your dad and that John continues to support you in the sweet ways he does.
Thanks for sharing. I look forward to meeting you. What a touching story. I shared it with my son last night. We are facing a bunch of difficult things and I really need to remember to trust the Lord in the midst of it all.
The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. Thank you for sharing what Jesus did with those of us who question what good can possibly come from a story like this. Your husband is a prince, and I am grateful that God brought this sweet man to you. I pray you find peace today, in the midst of memories, and that you can look back on your time with David, with joy in your heart.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story of one life ending and one persons eternity beginning.
Cindy, thank you for taking the time share your heart and your pain. I pray that God continues the healing work through the process. And thank you for the tender reminder to treasure those who are with us here, too.
Thank you for this beautiful testimony. Perhaps as I look back to December 9th in the future it will be a turning point. You see, the Chemotherapy over the past 6 months has not worked to remove all of the amyloids that are present in my small intestine. Thank God, they have diminished, and there is hope with a stem-cell transplant in February or March of 2014 at Yale will keep it under control. Yet, the worldly oncologist said yesterday that they will continue to proliferate through the next organ and then the next one. My role now is to make sure my life is a Testimony of God’s love; that the redemptive blood of Christ is made real to those around me, that I will exude faith and love, praise so much that it displaces despair, and always God is good. All the time.
Thank you Cindy, for sharing your heartbreaking story. Those days will always be remembered. For me, it was waking up on Christmas Eve 2010 and finding my husband had passed away. I will always remember laying over his body, screaming no, no, no, I’m not ready, it’s too soon, no, no, no!!! The house filled with family, friends and Pastor’s, my children seeing his lifeless body, crying and laying on the floor beside their daddy. But God is Faithful and Good all the time! He has sustained us and carried us through these almost 3 years. I pray that this year you are filled with Joyous Blessings from above and that the ache in your heart is a reminder of the gift of David being in your life!
Some extra prayers for u today. I know how these days go and they stink!!
I first saw and heard a little bit of your story when I went to GriefShare and was very touched by it. Thank you for sharing it. I’m glad to know God has given you a good husband, children and a ministry. I’m sure you’re making a big difference in many lives. God bless you as you face another December 10th and use your experiences for God’s glory.