As the time gets closer to a fill year from when our much loved Elias's spirit left us to be received by Christ, I (we) have a lot to remember and think about. It's very difficult not to think about his dying, and the struggles of his body; not to let those thoughts rule and blot out all else. My sky grows dark like the hour of the Lord's death whenever I remember those things.
So, along with that, we remember all the wonderful days we were given. We remember what a great blessing and gift it was to have Elias with us. We try to remind ourselves that he is still ours and will be with us again someday soon.
Also, I do remember regrets. I regret my sinful hesitation in giving thanks for Elias' healing earlier, when in answer to prayer his serious liver issues disappeared in an hour at church. I regret not more eagerly and fully fulfilling my vows when we returned from the tests showing that his liver was functioning properly. I regret every hint of complaint at how tiring it was to be in suspense over his respiratory problems. I have asked for forgiveness for these things, and know that the blood of Christ has washed away those stains, but still I hope and pray that the lesson was learned. I ask for a pure and grateful heart that doesn't betray God's generosity with reservation in thankfulness or hints of complaint.
I'm not saying I know that God took our son because of my sin. I don't know that, and unless God were to tell me clearly and specifically, I wouldn't say it. But I do know that my hesitation to fulfill vows, to pour out generous thanksgivings from a pure heart for such a great and precious gift as the life of my beautiful son was sin.
Sure, we were "victims of a tragedy", and I know many people who would rush to reassure that it wasn't our fault, wasn't my fault, or even that God doesn't work that way. But being party to great suffering doesn't make anyone guiltless, and our 21st century ideas of how a perfect father ought to act does not supersede the revelation of the real Father's apostles and prophets. While I confess and greatly regret my sin, I trust in a God who forgives sin, and puts away iniquity. I trust in a God who does not punish the guiltless and who holds my son in His hand still. I trust in the resurrection of the dead by the power and work of Jesus Christ the Son of God. I trust that I will see my son again and hold him.
Until that day, I do hope and pray that I wouldn't repeat my failings, and I give thanks that despite our failings we have the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.