A Flicker Way up in the Sky

One night he (Ky) came home with a bottle of liquor and went to his room. Shay saw him and told his dad and me. George went to his door and asked him to open it and he reluctantly opened the door. I was sitting in the den when he came downstairs crying, and put his head in my lap like a little child; I was crying too.

He said, "Mom I need help, I do not know what is wrong with me:"

I asked him if he would go for counseling and he said he would.

The next day I got an appointment for him. After testing, the doctor told us he was bipolar (manic-depressive). I didn't know what it was but knew that I had a friend who suffered from this mental illness and I couldn't believe that my baby was facing this same problem. He was so intelligent and artistic, how could he have a mental illness".

Ky ultimately dropped out of college and worked in many jobs. Typical of a person with bipolar disease, he would go into work and quit his job but with his charm and good looks, he would have another job within hours of walking away from the last one. He called me almost every day. We were close and he needed his parents. His brothers continued loving him with all their hearts. As a family we tried very hard to please him and help him in every way possible.

He started back to college after moving back home and was doing great; he even made the President's List. He only had a few hours to go until he would receive his degree. When he came home from college one afternoon, I had his favorite lunch ready for him, a taco salad. He ate and we talked and laughed. He was working on an assignment for school that required the typing of a paper, so he went to his room to work on that.

Later that afternoon, he went about a mile from our house and committed suicide. When the sheriff came to tell George and me, I thought I would die. I have never been so hurt in my life. I had lost my dad, my mother, my nephew and now my son. "God how can I go on?"

I blamed myself for not seeing the signs and I felt that I had failed him in some way. He was my baby and I loved him. I knew him so well, why couldn't I see his pain? I questioned myself as a mother. Where did I fail my son?

My heart goes out to love ones that have to go make funeral arrangements. It is very hard to pick out a casket and do the things that have to be done. I was so numb that I just went through the motions and there are things that I now wish I had done differently. But at that time I could not think and just wanted to get that part of my pain over with.

When Ky was very young he had told me he wanted to be buried by my mother, his wonderful Mama Reid. That rang in my ears as I thought about the funeral arrangements. My mother was buried in Brookhaven, Mississippi but I wanted the funeral to be in Millington, Tennessee where our friends and church family lived.

My family and I did what we needed to do. My extended family was there for us. Christian friends and family reached out in love and concern. In my heart I knew that my savior knew my pain. I do not know how anyone can go through the loss of a loved one without knowing our Lord Jesus. He loves us so and he softens the blows. I knew that He loved Ky even more than I did and that's a whole lot of love. If you don't know my Jesus, stop right here and pray for Christ to come into your life and live in you. Ask forgiveness of your sins and live for him. Go to church next Sunday and find a family of God that will love you through your difficult times. Find your ministry that he will lead you to do for him. He is so near, please don't push him away.

"Fear thou not for I am with thee; be not dismayed for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea; I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isaiah 41:10

To all that have lost a loved one, you know what grief is. The rest of you may not know the depths of this pain but there will come a day that you will be required to go through this also. Only through my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ did I get through a day. The first thing I did when my eyes opened each morning was think of my three sons, desiring to pray for them as I had done every day of their life. All of a sudden there was that realization that one was gone. I would cry and even call out loud to God, "Ky where are you? Why did you do this?"

The heartache and pain in the pit of my stomach were almost unbearable. When I would go out in public, I would see someone that looked like him and I would want to go running to him. I could hear his voice. I could hear his car drive up. I could hear the front door open and know he was walking up the stairs. Oh my precious son, how I hurt!

Shay was living in Orlando, Fl. And Chad and his family were living in Pensacola, Fl. Chad, Brenda, their two month old little boy and Shay stayed with us two weeks following the funeral. When they returned to their homes, their planes left Memphis 5 minutes apart. I had held together pretty well so they wouldn't see me cry but when they turned to go to the plane, I thought I would die. George and I held on to each other as we walked, crying to the car.

Just to have something else to think about, George wanted to stop at a bearing shop to get some bearings for our nephew Phillip's go-cart. As he went in, I looked up to the most beautiful, clear, blue sky I had ever seen. With a stomach-wrenching cry, I said, "God if my baby is in the arms of Jesus, show me a bird". I saw this flicker way up in the sky and I thought it was an airplane. To my total amazement, here comes a bird, straight at my window and as I gazed at that bird, there came one from the left and one from the right and then all three birds flew up into the beautiful sky. I know this is hard for some of you to believe but it happened and it gave me a tremendous peace. When George came out of the shop, I shared what had happened. He did not doubt it for one minute. As I have shared this with friends it always brings tears. When I begin to doubt where my child is, I remember that moment when God sent the three birds to comfort this mother.

Berthelson, Sarah, He Guides my Path. Dairfax: Xulon Press, 2002, p. 99, 101-103,105-107.

Sarah's Books "He Guides My Path" and "Just Jesus" may be purchased at: Barnes And Noble.com, Borders.com and Amazon.com or from Sarah@Berthelson.com If purchased from Sarah they are $15.00 for both books. This is what she pays for them. Just send your address to her. Sarah's desire is for all to know the Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way.

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