I know I’ve written about this before, the idea that God won’t allow anything bad to happen where He won’t bring about a greater good; only before I wrote about it in the context of my struggle to imagine that a ‘greater good’ could ever come from losing Bernadette. I honestly do not believe that I will ever be able to recognize that greater good in this life because even if it was staring me in the face, as a mother there really is nothing greater than having her child to hold and love.
But we as a family did experience that promise from God this last week in a small way. Marc has been selling his sandcastle calendars as a fundraiser for the Hospice Society. One of his ideas was to build a big sandcastle on the beach for Canada Day and then use that attention to sell calendars and talk to people about the Hospice Society.
He started last Saturday, June 25th, with Joseph and two of his friends helping stack the sand. They had it 11 feet high.
On Monday he started carving. He only had the first few feet carved by Monday evening.
Tuesday morning he returned to the beach only to find someone had removed the top three layers of sand, even deliberately taking off the last blue form. So he quickly restacked the sand and continued carving. By the end of Tuesday he had a beautiful castle but he still had the bottom layer to complete.
Wednesday morning he returned only to discover the castle destroyed. A little disheartened he tried to salvage the sand that remained and for four hours rebuilt what he could. He came home for a quick break and to pick up the girls and when he returned to the beach his four hours of work was again destroyed.
When he returned home he said, “Ok. NOW I’m discouraged.” But after a bite to eat and time to regroup and think about it, with determination to raise money and awareness for the Hospice Society, he called a young man named Cory who offered to help in any way. Between the two of them they started over and restacked ten feet of sand. Only this time he built two towers instead of one. We originally had plans to go to a Compassionate Friends meeting Thursday evening but when Cory offered to spend the night guarding the castle, Marc decided to start carving right away and carved until dark with Joseph’s help. Friday morning at first light Marc was back at the beach to continue. Joseph joined him at what he considered a more ‘decent hour’ and they carved like crazy until about noon while most people were busy with the pancake breakfast and parade. After that Joseph left and Marc spent the rest of the day talking to people who came to see the castle and ask questions. Some eager young boys added the ramp and helped carve rocks on the bottom layer. Marc invited anyone who wanted to help add their touch to the castle. Most declined but a couple men carved rocks into the bottom layer too.
There was a public outcry over his castle being destroyed three times and the news spread like wildfire. At one point the police came bye and one officer told Marc that they’d been getting complaints from people regarding the destruction of his castle and said that there was nothing they could do to protect the castle Friday night. Marc certainly wasn’t expecting them to but it seemed that others wanted it protected. The story of the castle being destroyed three times may have been one reason he had so much publicity at the beach on Canada Day. I think he sold over 30 calendars. He stayed there until after the fireworks and Saturday morning at first light he was back at the beach to finish his creation only it was completely demolished again. He cleaned up the beer bottles and other drug ‘items’ he found, collected his buckets, forms, and Hospice Society sign and returned home.
Marc seemed very satisfied with what he did accomplish. He rose awareness for the Hospice Society, he interacted with people, raised money, gave young boys a chance to carve, gave older gentlemen the opportunity to be part of what he was doing, and a lot of people got some great photos of themselves in front of a sandcastle that was taller than even the tallest man. He was a little discouraged of course that it didn’t turn out exactly like he planned, but he did what he could with what he had to work with and he was more than satisfied.
But that’s where God’s promise comes in. What we saw as a bad thing, in the sense of all the destruction and Marc not having a finished castle, turned into a greater good! Due to the destruction the word got out and this morning Marc got a call from Global News out of Kelowna and a crew came and interviewed him and took pictures of the nine foot castle he has in the driveway. Marc was able to tell his story and what he was trying to accomplish. While he was being interviewed, The Salmon Arm Observer called and asked for an interview as well. Because Marc was busy and unable to answer the phone I answered and the lady asked if I’d be willing to talk to her since Bernadette was my daughter too. We talked for a bit about the three months Bernadette was sick, about Marc’s sandcastles, etc. and then the reporter asked me how I was dealing with it all and I got a chance to briefly share with her the Caringbridge website, its mission, our blog there and this website and how writing was my outlet like sandcastles was Marc’s.
So in the end, the plans Marc had were elevated beyond his imaginings. God definitely brought about a greater good. It would be way cool to see how far that good reaches, but again that might have to wait until the day we can see the full picture from heaven. That’s okay, we can be patient, because by then we can see it all through the eyes of joy and not tears for we will be with Bernadette again when we do and that will be a great place to be.
Just as I was about to hit publish Marc sent me the link to his interview that was aired tonight!