… And We’re Back!

It’s been a long time since anything at all has been said on the Poon blog.  The three of you that were reading have probably left and given your readership to blogs that are updated more regularly… blogs that weren’t interrupted first by vacation, then by tragedy.

It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to say, but we have had very little energy with which to say it.  I am finally feeling up to cataloging at least one thing about the last month or so, and it may not be the thing that you would expect.

Love.

For any of you that do not  know, my mom passed away on January 4th.  She suddenly contracted a severe case of pneumonia which quickly raged through her body and ultimately took her life.  Pneumonia.  Doesn’t it seem so 1930’s-ish?  I mean, really… pneumonia. No one dies from that, or at least not my people.  It has been hard to comprehend or to accept.  I was in shock for the first couple of weeks, through the waiting in the ICU, the funeral and the first few days back in Austin.  Now I am coming out of that, and the pain is even worse.

I am heart-broken.  Yet, God has filled this time of sorrow with so much grace and love, particularly through the care of others,  that it is difficult to recount it all, but I’d like to try.

My mom entered the ICU on Wednesday, Dec. 30th.  Three dear friends came to the hospital and stayed there all of New Year’s weekend.  They brought food and Starbucks for me and my family, were available to pray with us and to make us laugh and, ultimately, they just ministered to us throughout the weekend.  The impact they made on my family and me is profound and eternal.

Others visited the hospital as well, offering support and their homes, if needed.  Once we were back in my hometown, staying in my mother’s house and making the funeral arrangements, out-of-town friends unexpectedly ordered take-out and had it sent to the house, knowing we would have neither the desire nor energy to cook.  A friend from Austin drove the hour and twenty minute distance simply to drop off a meal, then she immediately got in her car and made the trek back.

A friend of ours designed a nice program for the memorial service, so that we would not have to use the standard (and ugly, if I might add) program that is provided.  Then, another friend printed them for us in Austin and brought them to the service, since my hometown is tiny and does not have a Kinko’s FedEx Office.  Most of my teammates in ministry and several friends made a long drive to the funeral, even taking time off work, to show me that I was loved and supported.

Staff members of Epic Movement, the ministry that I am blessed to be a part of, sent in their prayers from all over the country for our family and a friend compiled them into a beautiful book, which has become a treasure that I will certainly cherish.  (Pictured above.)  They have also given me as much space as I need in my job, in order to grieve and mourn properly.

When we arrived back in Austin, we hadn’t been home in a month.  I had suitcases and laundry from Hong Kong and a week in the hospital, documents and possessions from my mother’s house… it was a mess.  Three girlfriends came over and did all the things I was too overwhelmed to do: they shredded documents, unpacked my stuff, washed my dishes, put in loads of laundry, helped me organize and even folded our clean clothes!  (The person who had that task is maybe the only human being outside of hubs and my Sissy that I would allow to fold my underwear.  I’m thankful for her!)

Countless others sent flowers and food and reached out to me through email and Facebook, assuring me of their prayers, support, comfort and love.  I don’t know if I will ever be able to personally respond to all of those sweet messages, but I want you to know how much they meant to me, both in the days that my mom was in the hospital and after her passing.

Truly, I have never felt so loved in all of my life.  Mostly that is because these people (you) have loved me while I’ve had nothing to offer you.  I have always struggled with a “performance” mentality, believing that I could only be loved for what I do or how I perform.  God has used you to show me otherwise.

Several days ago, my sweet Jason said to me, “I love you” in such a sincere voice that I said, “Really?  Why?”  He replied, “You’re awesome.”  The Lord speaking straight to my heart.  It caught me off-guard and spoke to me so profoundly because I haven’t been doing any of the things I would usually equate to “loving” him.  I’m not cooking his food, keeping the house very clean or doing much laundry these days.  What a blessing to know that I am loved simply for who I am!

Jason, especially, deserves more kind words than I have room for.  Since the moment we hit the ground in the U.S. (we were flying back from visiting his family in Hong Kong when we found out that Mom was in the ICU) he has become the responsible one.  He communicated with everyone while we were in the hospital, then afterward communicated  all the details about the service.  He made sure the programs were printed and on time, he protected me when I had no energy left and supported me so well during that time.  Since being back, he has picked up the slack with my work responsibilities, taken responsibility for things that need to be done around the house and has even taken care of many of the details that we are having to deal with concerning my mom’s estate.  I am more grateful for him than ever before.

Outside of these things he has done, which have also communicated his deep love for me, the last few weeks have been some of the sweetest weeks of our marriage.  Our grief has brought us closer together and we have been able to find comfort in one another.  It has been an indescribable blessing, particularly in the midst of so much pain.

This is much longer than our usual post, but there has been so much love shown to us that I felt it was time to acknowledge it publicly, both to say “Thank You” to everyone and also to give glory and gratitude to God.  His body of believers is such a blessing and the love that exists in those relationships is a testimony to who He is and His infinite love for us.

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11 responses to “… And We’re Back!

  • Tom and Karen Virtue

    Grateful you and Jason feel connected and loved…thinking that God is pleased …

  • Amber

    I’m still here. 🙂 I had just checked your blog yesterday to see if you had written any updates! I am so thankful that the Body of Christ has served and loved you so well during this time of grief. And that you have a hubby who loves you dearly and has been able to love you in the Lord’s strength in ways that have really spoken to your heart. Isn’t it interesting under what circumstances God can choose to bless us with a sweet season of marriage? I am praying that even as time passes, you continue to feel loved, encouraged and supported well by those around you!

  • Carita

    You know that I’m ALWAYS here for you, TJ! Thank you for sharing your heart. This post was beautifully written, and I’m glad to hear the joy in the midst of your sorrow. YOU ARE DEARLY LOVED!!!

  • April

    Love you, Teej!

  • Joy

    TJ, you and Jason continue to be in my & Mike’s prayers. I’m very sorry that you and your family have had to deal with that experience. May God bring you peace and comfort during this time.

  • sulisalo

    You’ve been such a fighter – more than I have words to describe! Thanks for sharing your heart with all of us! Love ya, TJ!

  • Jenny

    AMAZING. AWESOME. SO MUCH GRACE. I’m so grateful to read about where you are at and how you have both been carried during this time. Love to you and Jason during this unique season.
    Love,
    Jenny

  • Corrie

    Well said baby sister. I love you both so much!

  • Cassi Robinson

    Beautiful Teej… Your friends helped so much during that time and still do, I want to say thank you as well. I love you sweetie…

  • sandyovalle

    TJ You are AWESOME and deeply loved! I join with you in giving thanks to the father for the love that you have experienced during this time.

  • Niki

    Teej, You are my teacher…

    I love you,
    Niki

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