My assumption of reality


What is it like to have your first-born son killed in front of you by God? 

How could a loving God, make us suffer like this?  As well as the people around us who were suffering through no fault of their own?


My newlywed wife and I were living on Guam, a little island about 30 miles long in the middle of the Pacific Ocean far away from our family and friends. I enlisted in the Navy, and was stationed in a Combat Reconnaissance Squadron at the Naval Air Station in Agana Guam. Jamie was 16 years old and I was 17 years old. Because I was an enlisted sailor of low rank the Navy at that time in 1971 would not pay to have Jamie escort me to my duty station on Guam. So I saved enough money to fly her over myself.

We lived in a one room duplex apartment about five miles from the Naval Air Station. We had a 1959 Volkswagen Bug that barley run.  I parked the car on a incline every time I turned it off so I could push start it, as I did every morning to get to the base. We had a mattress that laid on the floor to sleep on. We cooked our buttered spaghetti on a hot plate and ate cold bread when we could afford it.  There was no kitchen so we washed our dishes in the bathtub.  We were happy and in love, just being together was all we needed or wanted.

Being in a Combat Reconnaissance Squadron I was sent to Da Nang air base in Viet-Nam on detachment for three months. The extra $76 dollars a month in combat pay gave us enough money to move into a two-room apartment and start living rather than just surviving.

I was now a true combat veteran at 18.  During my time in Viet-Nam after several close encounters with death and dealing with the fear of dying, I promised God that I would serve him if he got me out of here alive.

Jamie got pregnant with our first son Otto.  Who knew our lives would change that much after Otto was born. Now we had a living person to take care of along with ourselves. Otto needed clothes, dippers, and our attention. We were young and inexperienced, whatever came up we handled without a problem, we had so much love for Otto and much to learn about babies.

I started working two jobs to pay for the extra expense of feeding and clothing us all.  My extra job was at a Navy golf course selling beer, soda and water to golfers at the ninth hole. The favorite part of my day was going home and playing with baby Otto after getting off work.

One day after work I went into the bedroom to see Otto like I always did. This time he was blue just laying there in the crib. I picked him up something was wrong, he was lifeless. My world ended at that moment in time. My mind did not want to believe what I was seeing was true. It was surreal everything was happening in slow motion. I cried out to Jamie to verify what I was seeing was really happening. I ran next door to my neighbor’s apartment he came and took us to the emergency room.

Otto was dead… he died of what they call crib death.

I know and have firsthand experience with someone that was a part of me and loved being taken from me for no reason.

No one can help you understand what the permanent loss of someone you love is like not even if the loss was experienced personally by people with good intentions trying to comfort you.  All the reasoning and theories that well intending people come up with angers you more that helps. I found how little control I have over what happens to me in this life.

How could a loving God, make us suffer like this?  As well as the people around us who were suffering through no fault of their own?

Close to 50 years has passed I am 66 years old and no closer to finding an answer to this question than I was 50 years ago, because in my opinion there is not an answer. Life is an experiment full of hardships and labor.  No one gets out of this life alive.  

Life is, in my experience, and opinion, a journey independent of others except for a helpmate who becomes one with you and shares living with you true love. Time in life  is an illusion, there is no such thing as time other than a marker for documentation and records.

The abstraction we call God has given us a window to look out at the dominion of his kingdom. Asking God to come in the door of my containment is to be in the presence of God.  I will never be alone as long as God is with me. (Emanuel)

Our creator maker of all things visible, Pure is your name. Your dominion come , your choice come to exist in our containment as it is in the visible. Give us down here our daily necessity of food. Let go of our wandering from the path as we let go  those who owe us. Keep us from wandering from the path and lead us not into experiments, but deliver us from hardships and labor.