I will spend the next few days with tears in my eyes and the sadness for this family will remain in my heart. I don't know if you read my post just about six weeks ago about the sad news that my town had lost a soldier. Erica was a beautiful young woman, and she left behind a husband, grieving parents and grand parents and a brother. This is one of those times where I have to dig deep inside my soul to find the place to remain strong in my faith because it's one of those times I have to say out loud, "How much is one family expected to have to live through".
And when such a loss has touched you personally at some point in your life you feel it much deeper and greater for others. In the spring of last year when my sister in law lost her 18 year old son in a traffic accident and then just weeks later lost her home in a fire, it was so close and so personal and left my heart so raw. Then last fall when Missy Caulk lost her son and granddaughter in short span of time not only did I weep for her loss, I spent another week crying jag over the loss of Hunter and I knew that I felt a kinship that mostly went unspoken over the grief the Caulk family experienced.
Last night I found out that Erica's father passed away of a heart attack (they believe), there will be an autopsy. His mother in law said he died of a broken heart. I talked to him at Erica's service. While heartbroken he was a man of faith and I'm sure he is happy to see Erica again. But for the family that remains an additional sadness and burden of grief that seems so unfair and heavy to carry. There are sad details that I will not share here, but please, please if you pray say many prayers for Charles Alecksen. He is just 16 and my heart aches so for him. And for Erica's mom and grandparents and the rest of their family.
Life does and must move on when there is loss. I would love for your take away from this message to be to NEVER miss an opportunity to tell and show those people in your life that you care about how much you love them. Lars Aleckson was only 51 years old. My nephew was just 18. Erica was just 21. We are never promised tomorrow so we must love today. Pick up the phone and tell someone in your family that you love them. If they are close enough get in your car and drive over and do it in person. We must love today.