Last night Lance did a house call of a 13 year old special needs boy who's the oldest of eight children, the youngest being a newborn. The family members are very devout Catholics. His younger siblings wanted to help with the removal so they helped with the sheets and pillows and so forth. The little siblings and father were crying but the mother held it together pretty well. They then sang hymns together and prayed together before Lance left with their oldest brother.
The parents said they knew this day was coming since birth, they just didn't know when he'd pass away. I was very touched by this family's faithfulness to still worship and praise Heavenly Father even in such a difficult circumstance, or perhaps especially in such a difficult circumstance. I was touched that his siblings wanted to help, instead of being scared or sad, they still wanted to take care of their oldest brother until he was laid to rest. I was touched by their strength and their love for each other. I probably would have bawled but I wish I could have helped Lance with this removal, what a remarkable example!
Every day Lance tells me stories of how people die or who he picked up or what the removal was like. And with every story comes perspective. This young man won't be with his family for Christmas this year, I keep thinking about the gifts they probably have under their tree for him and if they might have made his favorite Christmas treat. And I'm sure that even with their limited knowledge, these young siblings don't care about the gifts. They just want their brother. Maybe his death was a welcomed blessing, I'm not sure and I don't know to what extent he was special needs, but one thing is for sure; he is certainly loved! And that's all that matters in life. Love, family, hope. Merry Christmas!!