Last week I got a phone call from my family, telling me that my granddaughter Laura was in the hospital with pneumonia. Laura joined our family with her father, Bill, and her two brothers, Tyler and Jake, about 8 years ago, when my daughter Julee married Bill. Bill was a divorced father, struggling to raise his kids alone and hold down his construction job. This was complicated by the fact that Laura was profoundly handicapped, needing total care. Julee met them through her own job, giving respite care to families with handicapped children. She and Bill married about 9 months after meeting.
Laura passed away Wednesday, February 7. She was 15 years old. Her life expectancy had been very limited, but a loving family always hopes for the best, of course, and never expects the end to really come. I got on a plane Friday the 9th and arrived at Julee and Bill's in Twisp, WA, by Sunday afternoon. It was a long drive following a longer flight. Various other family members were here, who have since left, most of them returning for Laura's memorial on February 25th.
It is a sad time for us, but while we grieve, it's not as those who have no hope (I Thessalonians 4:13). "Therefore, we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and present wiht the Lord." (2Corinthians 5:6-8) Because of Laura's handicaps, she took up a lot of room in her home; she also took up a lot of room in our hearts. We are comforted to know that she is now with Jesus, healthy and whole.
Please pray for Julee and Bill and thier families, for the comforts of God, for His closeness to them during this time. I had been planning to come home in June for a grandson's graduation from high school, but God had a different plan. I will be in the USA for about 6 weeks, of course spending much of that with family. But I hope to be able to connect with friends as well while I'm home. I don't have a schedule yet, but please feel free to contact me via email any time.