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COMMUNITY VOICE

Yes, bad things happen, but thanks, Aunt Virginia, for pointing me to God

Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 12:01 am

Yes, Aunt Virginia, there is a God.

I am a dementia patient. This will come as no surprise to my family, friends or the nice police officer who escorts me home. My short-term memory is gone; however, my long-term memory is still on point.

In light of the recent tragedies that have fallen upon our nation, my thoughts have gone back to Christmas Eve at my Grandma Barr’s home. I was a bratty teen who had all the answers to any problem and was quick to share my opinion.

My Uncle Fred had just said grace, and he asked for a special blessing for all the people fighting in the Vietnam War. I was an adamant protester (which I later regretted). I looked Uncle Fred squarely in the eyes and said, “How can you believe in a God who allows such devastation!”

His lovely wife, Aunt Virginia spoke up and said, “Oh Patti, how can you not?”

For many years I pondered her words. I watched my father die of cancer, and yet he made a profession of faith shortly before he died. Never saw him step into a church. I watched my mother die a slow, agonizing death and witnessed the strength my Grandma Madden had through it all. Many calamities fell upon me during my lifetime. I wondered why this loving God Aunt Virginia spoke of allowed this to happen.

I became a wife and a mother. My first pregnancy ended at four months. My next baby, Jamie came along, and I nearly died in childbirth. During my pregnancy with Amy, I was very ill and was asked by my doctor if I wanted to terminate my pregnancy to stop the seizures that were ravishing my body. My husband and I could not begin to fathom such a thought. Amy was born and we found out she was ill. Aunt Virginia, where is this God you speak of?

Jamie flourished and became a brilliant student and a good friend to people she loves. Amy went on to change the world on how people are treated with a disability. In 1993 she wrote a letter to Santa that sent shock waves through the world!

Slowly, my faith started to grow. I saw the miracles that happen each day. I learned to look beyond the tragedy of life and see what good there is in this mixed up world. Yes, bad things happen, too often and too much. Yes, Aunt Virginia, there is a God! Thank you for making me think, and thank you God for allowing me the time to grow.

Patti Hagadorn is a resident of Fort Wayne.