Changes and Tough Times

Categories Personal

Note: I am starting over with a new look to the blog, and a new focus.  I have been living in China for the past six months, studying Mandarin and teaching English.  I haven’t been able to write any updates here on this site, but I have been keeping a personal journal to track the events of the past few months.  I will share the details of my trip in the next few weeks.  I have gained so much knowledge and wisdom the past few months, and I need some place to store it and share it.  I will still simply write as I please, but it will be a bit more structured than it was before.

Dear reader,

I left for China mid-November of last year (2015), and I arrived back in America two weeks ago (May 23rd of 2016).  In those six months prior to my arrival in America, I spent my time studying Mandarin and teaching English.  I was very busy, teaching when I wasn’t studying, and studying when I wasn’t teaching.  I had a few breaks where I just rested, but I can count those days on one hand.  It was during a trip to Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago that my life, and the lives of everyone I loved, changed forever.  I got a message from my mother that my family had been in a car accident, my sister Grace was gone, and my sister Mary was in critical condition.  Click here for a report on the accident.  The rest of my family was physically fine, aside from bruises and scrapes.  I left several hours later to return to America.  I’m not quite sure how I made it through that time.  I trusted and prayed.  I slept maybe an hour of the 30+ hour trip.  I cried and cried until I felt like I couldn’t cry any more, and then I kept crying.  My family is very very close, we love each other, and we get along extremely well.  This sudden loss had/has left a gaping hole in my life, and I didn’t/don’t know how to function with that huge part of my life missing.  I arrived home, with my good friends waiting to pick me up.  They immediately took me up to Jacksonville, where I was able to reunite with my family.  Those three days were the most difficult days of my life.  I’ve never felt so empty and distraught.  As I’m still in the midst of these feelings, I don’t have any answers for others that are feeling this way.  All I can say is that my faith in Christ is the only thing that’s keeping me going.

Eventually I would like to open up about the entirety of the events of the past few weeks, but it’s just not something that I am looking to delve into at this point.  I am barely able to write this post without breaking down.  These few weeks have given me a different perspective on life, changed how I view things, and completely changed my world.  Life, learning, love.  It’s all so much different than it used to be.  These events have made me look at the struggles of others in another light.  So many people have lost family members and friends to death, and so many people, even those that we don’t know, are comforting us and giving us hope in these dark times.  I will continue to write and to pursue what I feel I must pursue.  It’s not an easy thing to do, and I don’t want it to be easy, but moving on and living our lives is what our family must do.  I know that this post isn’t long, and it isn’t high quality, but it’s a new start and a base upon which I can propel myself forward.  I just want to say thank you to all of the friends and family that have been with us throughout this ordeal, because without them than I don’t think that we would be able to function.  My family and I are continuing to push through each day.  The future is always bright.

Until next time,

Mark

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