Athens Review, Athens, Texas

December 26, 2012

For those hurting during the holidays, there is hope

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

Athens — It's  Christmastime and all in the world should be good. Life is not always that black and white.

Life can be challenging, even in the best of circumstances. When a tragedy happens, like in Connecticut, you want to ask why?

My mother died of cancer when I was a young, 11-year-old girl. She was a devout Catholic; she was a woman very proud of her beliefs. I have always thought if there are saints in this world, my mother was one of them.

Her life had not been easy and she died when she was barely 50 years old. I missed my mother growing up and I still miss my mother today.  

Her religion was so very important to her and she wanted her children to share her beliefs. I have often wondered how her precious God could take such a wonderful person and leave five little girls motherless. There are so many bad people in this world, why my mother?  It took me years to answer my own question.

My mother missed so much. She never saw any of her children become adults or meet any of her grandchildren.

When my son was born, I thought how my mother would have loved him. He was born with red hair. I can remember as a small child my mother wanting at least one of her girls to have red, curly locks. She never got her wish. When Justin was born, it was like, “WOW, my mother would have loved his red hair!”

The day my sister, Joni, died at the young age of 41, she was smiling. I think my mother was there to guide her and calm her fears.

I finally learned throughout the years that as angry as I was when my mother died there is a purpose for all.  It says in the Bible in Ecclesiastes 3:1: To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

There was a reason I grew up without a mother.

I had to become an adult and live my own life to realize what my mother was trying to teach me. I know now God doesn’t put anything on our shoulders that we can’t handle. My mother’s God knew she had raised some strong girls and they would find their way in this world.  My mother was tired, life had become difficult to live. He poor body was beat down it was time to take her home. In time I came to understand the God my mother praised her whole life.

As impossible as it may seem, God has a purpose for the children and people in Connecticut. We may not know what it is, there is a reason these kids now sit next to God and are safe once again.

It’s Christmas, the time of the year we remember what is really important in our lives. For me, it is my family and friends. I hope they all are happy and healthy.

 My Christmas wish is that the people of Connecticut, somehow, come to terms with their loss. I have other friends who have suffered great losses during this Christmas season; with time they, too, will understand that God always has a plan. My friend Debbie, who recently passed away, told me, “We can’t stop what God has planned for us. It is all in his hands.” She was so right. It may not be clear now, but I hope in time we will all come to understand why so many people had to suffer.

I hope anyone who has suffered a loss this Christmas season can understand that what is God’s will, will be done. Merry Christmas and may 2013 bring peace to the families in Connecticut. And to the family of my friend, Debbie.

Kathi Nailling is a staff writer for the Athens Review. Contact her at