I had every intention of posting a nice, upbeat update today. I don’t much feel like it anymore. Sometimes you get an unexpected call and you know, as soon as you see the phone number, it’s not going to be good news. That is what happened to my mom while we were on the phone earlier today. Since then, I’ve just been trying to digest what she told me and keep my tissues close at hand.
When my mom was a teenager she became great friends with a young married couple, Dick and Carol. Over the decades their bond never waned, she has maintained a connection with them no matter where we lived. When they were newlyweds they had a little boy named Ricky. Ricky was not expected to live more than a few days. He had horrific birth defects but due to the love and fierce devotion of his mom, he survived much longer. Then after nine very difficult but beautiful years, he went to be with the Lord. They also had a little girl with health problems, but nowhere near anything like Ricky. A few years later Carol had a stroke (when she was only in her 30’s). For as long as I’ve known her, she was paralyzed on one side of her body and had difficulties with her speech. Over the years she grew worse, and eventually had another stroke. Dick loved Carol like something you see out of a storybook. He was lonely but she kept him going. Then last year, she passed away. Dick also lost his only brother, his dad, and his mother. Now, fast-forward to the phone conversation with my mom today. It was my aunt, telling her that Dick’s only daughter had been killed in a car accident today. My mom called him and he said: “I have no one left”.
I can’t stop weeping for him. Imagining the amount of loss he has endured is just too much. Please pray for Dick. Working at a Christian station, has allowed us to share in the grief of many people. The little girl who ran out the side garage door to say goodbye to her daddy and got run over by his car and killed (he never saw her). A woman whose husband was murdered in a robbery, the two teenagers who died in a car accident etc. etc. It’s hard to understand. Sometimes when you hear one thing, the floodgates just open and it brings up all the old things too, thinking about Dick has done that.
I have been holding my boys like crazy tonight. Grateful for the abundant blessings of health, of laughter, of all we’ve been given TODAY. It’s one of those moments where you become acutely aware of the preciousness of life. I couldn’t help but think of the song “Held” by Natalie Grant. There are so many things that happen that are difficult to reconcile in our finite minds. How could one person be put through so much long-term, consistent suffering? This is a good version of that song. I know, it’s very sad but it’s also awesome at the same time. To trust that God consoles us, that he holds us in the midst of pain is a comforting promise.