Saturday, April 5, 2008

Things I know about Giving and Sacrifice...

I woke this morning and on the radio was a man talking about losing his spouse. As I listened to him, I found myself questioning his choice of words. In one sentence, he used two words as if they had the same meaning. As I pondered his words, I felt compelled to write.
"I can suffer less because I know the sacrifices I made were for her. I freely gave all I had to give her and did not mind."
That statement truly bothered me. The two words did not have the same meaning to me. They were NOT allowed to be in the same sentence. I thought about My Sheila and the life we lived. Never in all of our time together did I ever feel I had sacrificed anything. The meaning of sacrifice being basically the surrendering of anything for the sake of something else or to a claim it more pressing or important. This man was saying how he had wanted to go on to Art school but he was willing to sacrifice his wants for his wife. So he was saying he gave up something he really wanted because of her. Well, I say did he "give" it or "sacrifice" it? There is a difference to me.
When Sheila was so sick for so long, there were things that we had to do differently to adapt her illness to our lives. Notice I did Not say to adapt our lives to her illness. That was something we never did. If there was something we could not do, it was not sacrificed! It was simply replaced by whatever we had seen as more urgent or important. To call it a sacrifice would to me demean what had been done. I would hear people say "Oh he sacrificed so much time to be at her side." "He loves to fish but he is at the hospital with her every minute he is off." I wasn't sacrificing one damn thing! I was giving to her love and caring in the same manner that she gave to me always.
Sacrifice means losing something that you wanted MORE than what you took or did it it's stead. Abraham "sacrificed" a ram instead of his son Isaac. Baseball players "sacrifice" a player to get another home for a score. The tears I cried every time she hurt, the love and understanding I "gave" to her when she was so ill, were exactly that. They were given freely of my choice and would have been given freely for another 1000 years if God had allowed her to stay. I sacrificed nothing and received in return blessings uncountable. She was a Gift that was "given" to me by heaven.
"I will try and pick up where I left off before she was sick. A sacrifice I was willing to give her. I doubt I can ever recover the years and that's ok." His words just caused me to shake my head and want to scream out "Wake up! Pick one or the other because you can not have both." Doesn't that very statement sound like regret? Doesn't it sound like he feels he gave up so much for her? What a hero.
I will one day leave this world as we all do. I will not ever look back and feel slighted or cheated or as if I have ever "sacrificed" anything in this life. I have been more blessed than any one man ever deserved. And I would so quickly give all I am for another forever to Sheila if she were not in heaven.
So Mark Glennel... think about how your wife feels if she is listening to you in heaven today. You just told her this morning that "You" "sacrificed" so much for her. I hope you at least Made her feel like it was willingly "given."


Unknown said...

I agree, Darrel. when you 'sacrifice' you are being forced to part with something you truly wish to keep for yourself; when you 'freely give' you hold no cost to what you are giving and expect no return.

I feel I have sacrificed nothing in my own life, instead I made choices, be they good or bad, for the benefit of my kids. I've not sacrificed my own nurishment -- I chose to put myself last so my kids would have full bellies. I did not sacrifice privacy by sleeping on the sofa -- I gave my girls the one bedroom and my son the other because I truly believed that was the right thing to do. I did not sacrifice being a fashionista by using the linen closet as my dresser, limiting the clothing I could have -- I made sure my kids had decent clothing for themselves.

All choices I would make again if I had to because to me it's not a sacrifice, it's called being a parent.


Darrel said...

Bette your words here are perfect and show me you Do understand where i was on this. You have given so freely and your children now reflect that as a mirror of what you gave to them. hugss to you and your words. Thank you for reading this. Always, Darrel

MySavings Media

Dollar General - Savings Zone Gevalia