The Cycle of Life

Jim (L), and his siblings, Patti Anne, and Lee (R).

We all experience problems and blessings, pleasure and pain, and joy and sorrow. We never know when any of this will come, and the best we can do is be prepared when it does. I have had some of all of this lately.

As for problems, in the past month we have had several problems at our home in Raleigh. First, our microwave exploded and started a fire. Thankfully, we caught the fire and were able to extinguish it before it did any more damage than to the microwave itself. Just a few days later, we noticed our second level HVAC system was not working. That was a fairly minor repair. Then we noticed water coming through the ceiling in our master bedroom. Upon exploration, we realized a tree had fallen and cut a hole in our roof; a small hole, but one that did enough damage to be disruptive, nonetheless. That same night, our sewer alarm went off, and the sewer intake line was clogged and had to be cleaned out. Again, not major, but disruptive. Remember, all of this happened in one month! A close friend and our daughter asked how many signs we need to know it is time to sell this house?!

But as disruptive and annoying as these problems are, they are just annoyances. They come with home ownership, although not often all at the same time. I do think they could be a sign, and I am just not paying enough attention. Still, they cannot be compared to the pain and sorrow of losing a loved one, which we have also experienced, just today. I hesitate to discuss these in the same article, for they are so very different. But my heart is heavy, and the annoyances we have had in our home this month just took a significant back seat in importance. It is important to recognize how quickly our perspective of what are real problems changes.

My friend who has been with me through all of my life’s major experiences since I was 16 years old (52 years), lost her son to Cancer this morning at the young age of 48. We are all heartbroken, but I cannot even begin to imagine my friend Judy’s grief, losing her first-born child. There can be no greater grief than burying a child. Some reading this have prayed the same prayer that I have prayed through the years. The prayer does not need to be verbalized; you know.

I do not understand how some people who are so good, such as Jim Townsend was, have the problems and illnesses they have, and suffer so much, while others, who don’t seem to be good people, seem to soar through life problem free. I know I am judging and asking questions to which we have no answers. I ask forgiveness for that. This loss is so raw.

Jim about the age of the dingo boot event!

Jim Townsend, your death puts a deep hole in my heart. I wish I still had the coffee table your dingo boots put a major scratch in many years ago! That is one of our favorite stories, told again just last night. There are many stories, and many memories. But I do not need that physical reminder of you. But I will keep the text that you sent me in July that said, “I can’t imagine my life without you in it. Love you so much.” Imagine that from a 48-year-old guy. Jim Townsend, I can’t imagine life without you. You will live forever in my heart.    

About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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13 Responses to The Cycle of Life

  1. Judy and family are in my prayers, her loss is so unimaginable. Love and hugs my dear friend.

    • Patti Fralix says:

      Thank you, dear friend. So very sad. There is a funeral on Sat, and Mike and I will be leaving home tomorrow to be there. We want to be there, Covid or not. Please keep us all in your prayers.

  2. Elaine Matson says:

    My heart is breaking for Judy and her family.
    This loss is unimaginable.

    I am so sorry for your loss, Judy. ❤️

  3. Amanda Fuller says:

    My heart aches for Judy as well as the rest of the family. Thankful we have a Savior who cares for us and eases our pain and sorrow at times like this, and we are thankful that Jim is no longer suffering and is at rest with our Heavenly Father.

  4. Sandra Pettus Bowlin says:

    Patti, I’m also a friend of Judy’s and met you before. I have asked those same questions so many times. You see, I lost my best friend to cancer 2 years ago to the date Jim passed. She too, just like Jim was one of The kindest, most loving person you would ever meet. I too am heartbroken, especially for my friend, Judy. Thank you so much for your heartfelt words.

    • Patti Fralix says:

      Sandra, thank you for your warm words. I know you miss your friend every day, and hope that your memories sustain you. Judy and the rest of the family have wonderful memories of Jim, which they will hold tightly to. We are never ready to lose a loved one, but there is some comfort in knowing they are at rest and peace.

  5. Janet White says:

    My heart also breaks for Judy, Lee and Patti Anne. The only sense of understanding is the truth that I offered at at Bryan’s death: the end will explain. I have known the Townsends since high school, and though they have had many challenges to their faith, I have no reason to believe that this terrible loss will cause no waver in the strength that God alone provides. Praying for you all

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