Larry married Lisa (my mom’s sister) and they had Luke. Lisa and Luke are among my closer extended family members. Luke is a year or so older than I am, so we got lumped together in the older cousins. But that’s the background.
I think about Larry a lot. I don’t remember much about him, but I always want to hear the stories. Larry had a great career going for him in (I think) programming software, a loving family and a bright future. Then he started hearing things. The hallucinations began too and the doctors gave them the news: Larry had schizophrenia.
I respect Lisa so much for all she has made it through. The stories she tells make me sad. One that stands out is how Luke kept her sane when Larry started acting out. “That’s not my dad,” he would say, “that’s the disease.” How hard would it be to struggle between your husband and the broken world in his head? When your dad yells at you literally out of no where?
Larry was afraid of the danger he was to his family, so he filled for divorce (though they still loved each other). The pills would make it hard to think straight, so he would stop taking them, eventually turning to alcohol instead. I remember hearing often that Larry was in the hospital for internal bleeding or a blood clot or something. Eventually it got the better of him.
It’s been 8 years since he died. 8 years of Luke not having his dad around. 8 years of Lisa missing her husband.
I’m grateful for Larry. Though I never knew him well, he has made a mark. Mental disabilities and diseases are so hard for everyone involved. I have no idea how hard it really is, but I catch glimpses whenever I talk with Lisa and Luke about it. And the good stories are so heart warming, like how he’d play with Luke when he was younger.
It makes me yearn for days with no mourning, or crying or pain.
21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”