My kids are always being warned by me. As toddlers I would warn, “Five more minutes till bedtime!” My teens have always been warned of the pitfalls in life as I plead for them to “Think things through! Be safe!” Yet, God took our son without warning. I spoke to him only hours before he was hit by a car crossing the street. He was happy and relaxed talking of our upcoming holiday plans. The photo above was his “selfie” he texted me just after our call. Later that night, at 10pm on October 18th, 2014, we received that dreaded phone call no parent ever wants from Kirksville Medical Center. They informed me of his condition. What do you mean, “non-responsive?” This can’t be true…yet it was.
As God would have it, we were placed that evening at our church and school surrounded by friends that moved quickly to our aid. To this day I have no idea how my sister drove us that night eight hours round trip facing such devastating circumstances, the loss of her Godson, nephew and first child in our family. Trinity Principal, Beth Gooden, Lutheran High teacher & coach, Jon Giordano, Uncle T and Pastor Schultz were at our home within minutes. They arrived to be with our children, as I raced to deliver the tragic news before they were shocked, seeing it on social media. Pastor Shank and Eric Dunn were driving right behind us, to comfort us, at the hospital as we faced our child’s death. I do not believe for a minute that any of this was by chance. We were in God’s hands.
Each day there are new challenges, moments that the grief will appear, unexpected, without warning, overwhelming sadness, triggered by a simple task or spoken word. As others go on with their lives, I am suddenly appalled by all the complaining and strife over such menial details that seem to stop people in their tracks. I was asked more than once how I felt about Connor serving in the Army ROTC, wasn’t I worried? I was not. I know anyone can be taken from us at anytime. Why worry? Would it help keep him safe?
Today is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Each day as I wake, I pause and pray that I may “walk by faith” and inspire others to do the same. Just as the Lord took our child without warning, so we shall also enter the gates of Heaven through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Whether we endure an illness and make preparations for what will always be a tremendous loss, or are unexpectedly thrown into it, we will all go in His time. I imagine Heaven as a brilliant light filled with loved ones and friends by Jesus side, well and waiting for us. Eternal life is a gift we have through God’s sacrifice of his only son, for this I am grateful and filled with hope!
“You also must be ready, because the son of man will come in an hour when you do not expect him.” Luke 12:40