Saturday, November 28, 2009

Parting Paths

I was alone when I got the message. 
Alone on Thanksgiving Day.
Have you ever been alone on a major holiday?
We celebrated our Thanksgiving meal on Friday so that Luke could be with us. 
Our New York families couldn't join us this year. 
So I was working in my kitchen Thursday when the news came about Brock. He was gone.
He passed away a few minutes after midnight, Thanksgiving Day. 
My heart broke. Tears began to roll and I thought they would never stop. 

I remember the first time he came to our house. I was carrying a laundry basket, heaping with clean clothing, out of the laundry room. Laundry for a family of seven can be a daunting task. He rose immediately, holding out his arms to take my burden. 

That is how I remember him. Hands outstretched ready to relieve another of their load.
I cannot begin to tell you all the ways this young man was there for us. 

You should have seen Caleb and Brock together. You would think them clowns. They had such
a great time, always happy in heart, always smiling. 

The boys spent a lot of time doing missions work together. Work and pleasure woven together, presenting a powerful message of the Gospel. A message of hope. 

A few months ago Caleb called us to ask us to pray as soon as he heard that Brock had a brain tumor. He had called Brock to ask him to be in his wedding, to stand up with him at the altar, be a groomsman.  Brock was sick. Very sick. Life threatening sick. It was not to be.

Things for Brock seemed to get worse. I called Caleb and asked him to come home for a visit. So glad that he did. It was the last time he saw Brock alive. 

Caleb held his hand without speaking, sitting for the longest time at Brock's side.Brock couldn't speak. Caleb didn't want to cry in front of Brock so he choked back sobs. Sobs prevented words. I could see the tears streaming down the side of his face. 

We returned to the car, Caleb broke, releasing a flood of tears. So did I.

Over the summer improvement in Brock's condition gave way for hope. It seemed that he was going to win the war against cancer! We all cheered him on. He said the words, "I love you" to his sweetheart. If excitement could change a destiny, he would still be with us. 

We can imagine Brock now, dancing all over heaven, his struggle left behind, his future inviting!
We are happy for him. Seriously, so happy for him.

But saying goodbye to a young man at 23 years of age is heart-wrenching regardless of how you try to look at it. It doesn't seem right. It doesn't seem fair. It leaves a huge question mark in your heart. I have added it to the list of things I want to ask the Lord about someday. Along with the time my cousins wife died in her early thirties, and their son died when he was 18. I am laying down my desire to know now. I fail to put it into a rational perspective every time I try. I just can't comprehend!

Would you join me in praying for Bobbi, Brock's mother; Sam, his dad; Sydney, his sister; and Nicolle, his fiance'; and countless others that this young man loved and was loved by. This will be a very hard weekend for so many. 

The funeral will be tomorrow. Caleb is flying home tonight. It will be a very short trip for him. He will fly back out Monday morning. Thank you for your prayers.

Two young men have parted paths, one will continue to tread the streets of earth, one the streets of heaven, until they meet again.

Many blessings, 


Sheryl said...


I happened by your blog today and wanted you to know I am praying.


Laura said...

Oh, dear friend. I am praying for you and your sweet son, as well as this precious young man's family.

I'm so sorry.

No words. Just here.

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

I am so sorry to hear about Brock. It breaks my heart to hear of a young person going home prematurely (at least as we think). But praise God that we don't have to understand, we just have to trust.

I'll be praying for Brock's family & fiancee. I can't imagine their pain.

Joyful said...


Sometimes silences speak louder than words.


quietspirit said...

I found you via Susan's Eternity Cafe. I will be praying for Brock's family.
We don't understand God's ways when things like this happen but we have to trust God.

Pearls and Diamonds said...

Cheri, I haven't visited in some time, but what a bittersweet story. I think of the verse in 1 Corinthians (I think), "But we do not grieve as the rest who have no hope..."


Abigail @ Pearls and Diamonds