A year ago today a precious friend died unexpectedly.
The insight a friend shared about the 97% remains the only comprehensible thought – maybe people understand and know 1% of what there is to know in the universe, and maybe we are aware of 2% that we don’t know and hope to understand. That leaves 97% that only God Himself understands.
I thought after a year of grieving, thinking, and talking I would be able to sit with the tragedy differently. But the truth is that my heart is still broken.
A year and a week ago I shared this at the funeral:
Nineteen summers ago Eduardo biked to our house and had a quick visit telling us he was headed to Guatemala for his baby’s birth. Ever since then Samael’s has been all that is light and life. In December Lorena and Samael’s came to Vancouver with Eduardo. Samael was a content baby being danced/rocked by Lorena; there was lots of laughter. Eduardo bought Samael the cutest little baby Nike shoes.
When Margarita was born, Samael was only three, but he was already a little man. He stayed with us on the night of Margarita’s birth. At bedtime when I asked where he would feel most comfortable sleeping, and he assured me a floor mattress beside our bed was just fine.
At a kyoung age he loved Jesus. One of his uncles was struggling, and Samael would say, “Tio, Jesus loves you. Come to church with us.” He would also have his uncle sit down with him and watch the Jesus DVD. Samael prayed earnestly, helped joyfully, and laughed heartily. That little boy was all that is light and life.
Active and vibrant: Baseball – an arena that Samael loved and shone. He would come to church all happen up and so proud and expectant of his games. My son would go and watch. Lorena was in Guatemala when Samael’s Grade 7 trip returned from camp, so I had the privilege of picking him up and hearing his escapades. Samael knew how to play with a team, how to have fun, now to enjoy life. He was all that is life and light.
Samael’s generosity – Buzz Light Year Halloween costume, then Spider Man costumes, dress suits all go passed to my sons. Eduardo found Samael’s dream guitar a couple of Christmases ago, and Samael generously passed forward his guitar, motivating the recover to practice and play. A few years ago Samael worked and gave his own money to help families living in stick sheds in his grandparents’ town in Guatemala get more stable homes. One time Lorena and I needed to run an errand, and Samael babysat. When I went to pay him, he snowed true Hernandz honour saying he wouldn’t feel right taking money for watching his “cousin.” I commented then I couldn’t ask him again; he relented.
Samael loved The Lord! Last Friday while we waited to hear news; while I really hoped to be told it was all a misunderstanding, one of my children asked me where is Samael, and my “I don’t know” wasn’t enough. So I said “with Jesus.” Them he perked up, and it said, “No I don’t know where Samael is, but I know that if he is in his body or absent from his body, he is with Jesus because that is where he placed his heart. Samael knows the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and Samael entrusted his life to Jesus, the Light of the World.
A few weeks ago my mother was in town, and Lorena made pupusas for her. Samael had two games that day, and he was tired, but he was also charming telling about the games, the mission trip he was prepping for, nap out work opportipunities. He’s all that is light and life.
Samael had a cute pair of work boots that were passed forward to my sons. I loved seeing them fill Samael’s boots.m Samael has left big boots for those of us who love him to fill -‘Boots of loving Jesus, laughing freely, living honourably, relating generously, playing hard, singing and playing worshipfully. As reality descended last Friday, we looked at photos of Samael while listening to the song “I Can Only Imagine.” . I told my kids to follow Samael’s example and live well.