As you read this, if you read this on Wednesday, Charlie and I are traveling to Orange Beach with a stop off in Evergreen to pick up my sister, Mary Ann.
We also have 3 extra passengers - unexpected - Ellie, Luke and Andrew - and this was mine and Charlie's idea to have them.
Ann and Steve have some dear dear friends - whom they knew in Albuquerque. They have 2 little girls and one little boy exactly the age of Ellie. As Ann had just delivered Ellie on April 24, 2005, her friend, Kendra, arrived at the hospital, in labor, to deliver Little Rick on April 25. All seemed fine, but time would prove that he actually was born with some genetic abnormalities - a condition which would prove to be life threatening.
This past weekend, Little Rick had his most severe episode, the one in which he could not be resuscitated.
As best I know, he had heart failure and was med flighted to the nearest city hospital. (they no longer live in Albuquerque, but now live close to Kendra's parents - but I can't remember the state in which they live. It's a 10 hour drive from Scottsboro) Tonight, Tuesday night, Ann called me, her emotions undone, as she had just found out that Kendra and Rick had to make the decision to take Little Rick off life support. Heartache - so hard - and knowing he can't survive without it, were already planning possibly that his funeral would be on Friday. Ann and Steve were making plans to take Ellie and Luke with them and leave Andrew with friends.
Charlie and I discussed it and offered to take those three little munchkins on vacation with us - perhaps we'll take a vacation after we take this vacation. I hate for Andrew to be separated from the rest of his family and also, such a trip for Ellie and Luke - it would be difficult for Ann and Steve to extend their full sympathy and compassion toward their precious friends, with having to still do parent duty.
So - on this night Rick and Kendra are saying goodbye to their little boy, who is the exact age of our Ellie. His sisters also are having to experience such grief so young. And his grandparents. I can't imagine this night and how it feels to them. I know that they have such a close walk with the Lord and are so strong in their faith. Still, that raw grief - so hard. I pray they feel His presence so strong. Both Rick and Kendra were tremendous mentors to Ann and Steve when they were in Albuquerque. I am grateful to them how they befriended them and walked alongside them. So grateful.
Please pray for this family.
Let me recommend Kate's blog post, Pilgrim Days. She gives a wonderful update on her recent trip to Wake Forest where she will be in the fall.
Again, remember to pray for Kendra and Rick and their 2 girls and extended family.