Another May has come and almost gone. May has become a tough month for me over the past six years. I am certainly traveling an emotional roller coaster this time each year and I have started calling the month Sweet-Bitter May.
I can't call May bittersweet, because six years ago May started out very sweet. Not bitter at all. Six years ago on May 9th, Sweet Baby Cass blessed Trey and I with her presence. We went from being a couple, to being a family. Cassandra was much anticipated and very much prayed for. After Trey and I married in October of 2001, we wanted to start having children right away. We did get pregnant almost immediately, but unfortunately I miscarried. We were heartbroken, but turned to a wonderful group of people at our new church. As a group, we prayed continually for babies and God answered abundantly. Cassie was our answered prayer. Our blessing. Our treasure. Our joy. God is always good, always has perfect timing, and always loves us. He showed us all of those things on that early, sweet May day.
Also in 2003, May ended quite bitterly. On May 25th, a close friend died suddenly. I grew up with Bryan and am not sure that I realized how much I cared for him until he was gone. As a kid, Bryan was mischievous and funny. He cared about others and stuck up for his friends. His sisters and I were close, and as a result, we loved one anther's brothers. Early on, Bryan was like another kid brother to me. As we got older, he became a friend. In the last several years of Bryan's life, he struggled with a lot of demons, but in the last year, he had started to turn things around. And then, suddenly, he was gone. May shattered. I packed my bags and my two week old, sweet, May joy and flew into my greatest sense of loss, regret, and bitterness.
Now each May, I am reminded of one May where I experienced for the first time one of God's most precious gifts and also one of life's most bitter losses. I watch my little girl grow and learn each year and am amazed at the joy I feel. Each May we celebrate her birth and remember the gift God gave us. I smile and reflect on this little girl who is getting bigger and smarter and yet has maintained so much of her sweetness. I also pause frequently each May and remember my friend. God has tempered my grief, but always I feel the loss. I struggle with the regret of not saying all of the important things to Bryan when I had the chance, but hope that I've learned from that bitter loss to be transparent to others, most importantly those whom I dearly love.