Everything happens for a reason

I’d like to say that I hate it when people say that… everything happens for a reason – but I don’t. I know it’s so trite and all platitude-y (totally a word, except, not really) but it’s also true. At least, it turns out to be true. When you are in the middle of the thing that’s happening, you often can’t see the reason and that capital “s” Sucks. And in that moment, a platitude doesn’t help (so definitely try to avoid them) but later, you can appreciate it.

Where am I going with this…

On Saturday I posted my normal Instagram recap that included a photo I took of a photo of my dad’s father who he never met because he (my grandfather) died in October 1935 and my dad was born February 1936. At some point I’d heard the story of the circumstances of his death but had mistakenly attributed his head injury to a lead pipe and I knew I was potentially making the details up because our minds recall things differently that we learned in childhood (e.g., bad dreams, being afraid of spooky neighbors who were not at all spooky in real life, being force-fed vegetables, etc…). Anywho, I knew my father would set me straight.

And I was right, Monday I got the following email from my dad:
My  father was  a fun-loving, dare-devil, joker, witty  type of  guy (runs  in the  family [note from Michelle: we are also humble]) and  he  liked to  play  low stake  poker at  the local  pub in Dimondale, Mi. After  one  such  session, which  he was  a winner, an altercation with  a loser  ended up in a fist fight  outside and  my dad  went  down and  head struck curb or the  concrete,  and  he developed a blood  clot.  Being  1935 and medicine  not  like  today, after  a few  days  in Lansing  hospital  he was transported  to Ann Arbor  where he  died like I think in November  and  I  was born  the next  Feb. No lead pipe  was involved.

[now here’s the part I loved]
Think  how  much  life  would  be  changed if that had not  happened.  Would  probably not  met  your  mom  and  no  Mike –no Marty— and  no  Michelle. See all things  happen for  a reason. I’m  very  happy  with  the  way  all has turned out
P.S.  the guy  who  caused  his  death was not  prosecuted  and  died in  W./W.2

I’ve never really talked to my dad about his father dying or everything that happened after – my grandma remarried and moved my dad and his sister to Lansing where he met my mom (his high school sweetheart) in school. And the rest is history. But history that probably wouldn’t have happened had my grandfather not been killed, or had he died at a later point after my dad was born. I cannot imagine what my grandma went through during all this – have two small children and no husband (though she was certainly not alone as there were many wives and children left behind at this time – it was a period of war and depression). But I love how he sees it… that his family came out of it, that we are the silver lining of the cloud of losing his own dad.

Incidentally, I did a little Google-aided digging and found out that my grandma also had a stillborn son in January 1934. I never knew that and as a child would never have known (or appreciated) how much my grandma went through in her own relative youth but as a mother and a wife, I relate to where she was at that time and cannot imagine the strength it took to get through it. I’m sure that at the time there was no comfort in knowing there must be a reason for it happening, but perhaps later, in retrospect, she could see the good that came of it.

It doesn’t mean that bad things are necessary in life but that bad things are not in themselves the end of the story, sometimes they are just the beginning. Everything happens for a reason because God doesn’t make mistakes.

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