I would like to say that I have never been angry at God, but I would be lying. Today is a very difficult yet special day for my family. Much joy, and yet so much pain is felt by every member as we honor my sister’s passing… her real birthday. 6 years ago Bree started her new life with Jesus when she left this world. It was one of the hardest days of my life. What I didn’t know is that the next week would be even harder. I remember people telling me how strong I was, and how they couldn’t believe how I was handling it. What they did not see were my moments of complete despair, and the moment I sat with red eyes, tears racing down my face on the workout mats in my parents’ garage yelling at the ceiling, “Why, God?! Why did you have to take her?! She was my best friend, and she was so young!” and, “Bree, why did you have to leave me? I wasn’t ready for you to go! How could you leave me?! I can’t do this without you!” Such pain, and such anger. I had so much pain knowing that my sister had suddenly and unexpectedly died at just 20 years old. Dead. My heart was broken, and I was so utterly confused. I felt trapped by darkness and loneliness. I finally walked into the house where my husband and my parents took one look at me and wasted no time grabbing me and holding me in their arms. I expressed every word to them as I did when I was sitting in the garage alone with God and with Satan.
That is when God spoke… through all three of them. Each one of them (Andrew, my mom and dad) took turns reminding me that I needed to stop feeling sorry for my sister, because she was NOT dead but resting with Jesus, and she was stronger than she has ever been before. They reminded me that I WILL see her again, and though it is good to mourn, we are not to mourn as those who have no hope. They reminded me that our hope is in Jesus, the mighty mighty God who will reunite us once again in heaven.
Little did they or I know that God would give me a dream a few weeks later where I would actually get to speak to my sister again, for real. I know it sounds crazy, but its true. I have had many dreams about Bree, but none of them were like this one. We talked the whole night about everything and nothing at the same time (like all of our conversations). We giggled so hard that our stomachs were cramping, and tears of laughter rolled down our cheeks. She always had a way of making me laugh so hard that after our conversation my abs felt like I just finished an ab blaster workout. After a long while of talking and giggling she stopped and looked at me. Her face showed sadness, joy, and such hope all at the same time. Then she spoke one last time, “Christy, I have to go now. I won’t see you for a long time, but I will see you again.” Then she was gone. God allowed me one last moment with my best friend and little sister. I cannot thank Him enough.
Since Bree’s passing so many different people have come up to me and my family to let us know how Bree’s life and early passing have brought them closer to the Lord. My Aunt and Uncle (both atheists) came to know the Lord the day of my sister’s memorial. 1 year later, on my sister’s anniversary (September 8th, 2011), my aunt Mari went to be with the Lord. A year after that my uncle Jim joined both of them in heaven. Think about that. If my sister did not go when she did we would never see my aunt and uncle again. Because of Bree’s passing and the way she lived to please Jesus, both our aunt and uncle’s souls were saved. That is a miracle, and nothing less. That is just one of many examples of how gracious and loving my God has been to me and my family in such tragedy.
Though my heart still breaks daily wishing that Bree were here to play with her nieces, or to talk hours on end with, or to have her support in my “get fit adventure” (she has always been so encouraging), I know that God’s plan is still better than mine. Though He never wanted to separate my sister from us, He is working it all for our good. My little ones know exactly who aunt Bree is, and they are so excited to meet her one day. They know how loving, strong, and God fearing she was and IS. They know that she is waiting to meet all of them at the gates of heaven where she will wrap her arms around everyone of them and tell them how much she loves them. Until that day we love and remember her.
I want to ask you for your prayers for some family friends of ours. The Dorschels. Keith Dorschel passed away August 29th 2016. He has a beautiful wife and beautiful young children. Please pray for them as well as his twin brother Brad and his family, and the rest of the Dorschel family. If you feel it in your heart to help this wonderful family out, they are trying to raise money for Keith’s wife and kiddos. Here is the link if you want to donate. https://www.gofundme.com/2mfxh8c Anything helps! Let’s remind them of the love of Jesus in anyway we can… we ALL need to be reminded of how Great His love really is.
Today we celebrate Bree’s life by going to one of her favorite places, the beach! We have made the best memories at the beach bodysurfing for hours together, and giggling as we do stupid tricks as each non-rideable swell goes by. I will be riding quite a few waves in honor of my little sis, because I know that’s exactly what she would want me to be doing at this time. Eden is so excited. It will be baby Bree’s first time at the beach and Faith’s first time going in the ocean! Here are some pictures of the cuties before I part with you all.
Thank you all so much for reading. God bless you!
In memory of Bree Grandon, Jim Malandrinos, Mari Malandrinos, and Keith Dorschel. We will see you soon guys.