The last few days have been so emotional around here. On Sunday, Mike and Lori and their two youngest boys Weston and Matthew were at church. (they had moved to Massachusetts just a couple of years ago) That is Austin's family. There were tears and hugs...and a little laughter with memories shared. (Please check out the link to learn more about this remarkable young man)
I remember Austin best when he was about 10 or 11 when Jamie and I were in a small group with Mike and Lori. Austin was always full of adventure...doing things like climbing to the highest point of the tallest tree. He also had a heart of gold. I remember him telling our friend Amy that she didn't have to worry about Caleb when he started kindergarten. He would sit by Caleb and make sure no one picked on him on the bus. More recently (probably about 7 months ago now), I remember asking him about the stitches on his leg and inquiring what happened. He told me how he had been cutting down trees using a chain saw. The saw slipped and nicked his thigh. He went a few days without any medical care, but when his grandfather saw it, he dragged Austin over to the hospital to get stitches. His grandfather was a prominent doctor here in town who is now retired. A few weeks ago he was sitting directly in front of me at church. That is the last time I remember seeing him. I wish now that I had said something to him.
Today was the funeral service. It was probably one of the hardest services I have ever sat through. In a little while, I will go to the reception at his grandfather's house. They have a big tent set up. Lori said she wants it to be "fun." (As much as you can have fun under the circumstances) There will be food, lawn games and a bonfire.
I feel rather gloomy right now. For three days in a row I have gone to calling hours and funerals. Yesterday's funeral was touching too and that family is on my heart and mind as well...but I can't bring myself to write any more.
Thank God that this life is not all there is and that one day, He will wipe away every tear!