Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sharyn's Memories

I have found it surprisingly hard to express my feelings concerning the loss of Roger. I guess I assumed (and quite often took for granted) that my wise and loyal friend would always be there. Oh, I thought about the statistical odds that someday I would have to face the fact that I would no longer be able to have those long telephone discussions concerning the latest development in my life, or the compliments so lavishly given and mostly undeserved, though coming from the most genuine of persons. But in the rush to keep up with the world, time has met with eternity and now he is truly gone. It still hasn't settled in yet for me. I have so many rich, rich memories of our conversations ranging from child rearing, to cooking and sharing recipes, to the list of homonyms, to how I really need to talk with the financial adviser and save for my retirement, to his encouraging words concerning my striving to be a good single parent. Much has been said about Roger's ability to guide and with the Lord's help, heal troubled marriages, or make good marriages stronger. For me, however, Roger will be my everlasting hero because he truly, truly understood the plight, for want of a better word, of the single parent. The parent who wanted so desperately to practice the marriage principles, but having only half the deck to play, was frustrated and filled with sorrow. It was as if he could truly empathize, although he had never experienced the pain of having to raise children alone. He gave me the courage to continue so many times when I wanted to throw in the towel. He never once let me feel sorry for myself. So many times he used the half deck analogy, and listened to my complaints and then responded with "Now what are you going to do about it?" And prayer was always the answer. We prayed together, he prayed for me and the boys regularly, and when I felt sorry for myself, he wouldn't let me. For that I am so so grateful. He was there for me. There when my marriage was in trouble, there when I needed to make tough choices, there when my whole biological family shunned me. Yes, there for ME. He and Nelda attended my graduation, at which I received my doctorate in Occupational Therapy. He delighted in calling me "Doctor." I must admit, I do not utilize the title much, but to hear Roger refer to me as Dr. Sharyn Krazer, really erased a lifetime of damage and low self esteem. If not for Roger and Nelda, I would never have gone to college. Talk about a life changing experience. They had so much faith in me, that I couldn't help but start to develop it and in turn, internalize it for myself. Now, my life has so much meaning. I am able to reach out to others in a way I had never dreamed of. Since becoming a therapist, I realize the importance of encouragement, of looking people in the eye to bring out the essential information to help them heal, the importance in being genuine. I am so blessed to treat a wide range of people and diagnosis, from children with autism and a variety of diagnosis, to adults suffering from stroke, dementia, Parkinsons, etc. Roger Hawley has played a major role in helping me to see the importance of loving people, the importance of allowing God to work through me to help bring about healing or acceptance. Ever since his death, I hold my patients even more dearly. They are not medicare numbers or earned income for the skilled facility I work for. They are precious human beings. I find myself distributing more hugs and having more patience. I am taking even more time to listen to the lonely, pinpoint and try to relieve the physical pain with a more tender touch, and listen to the mother who is losing patience with her child who has Autism. To me this was the legacy of Roger Hawley. This to me was his legacy of living a life of integrity and right living. People mattered to Roger. I am so very grateful that I have known him. I will never be able to reach so many as Roger has, I am too selfish and not nearly disciplined enough. However, Roger has impacted my life and for that I am eternally grateful. I haven't cried much at all. I believe it is because I was sure in his love for me and I know he knew how grateful I was for him and how much I loved him. It continues to feel so surreal. I will continue to remember how he fully relied on God to the end. He is truly missed, and as the reality sets it, we are blessed for having known him, but realize we will all be together in a better place some day. Thanks for letting me share.
God Bless,

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