I wanted to update all of my readers on how the Keith family is doing. In case you haven’t seen my last post our dear pastor lost his granddaughter on Thanksgiving day. We are close with their whole family and our children play in the nursery together at least once a week. Although we are still mourning the loss of this precious 18 month old baby we will be celebrating her life tomorrow at her funeral.
The family is doing as well as could be expected. The other two girls have been tested and are completely healthy. As far as I know the cause of death is unknown. The autopsy showed nothing wrong with PK. She went down for a nap and despite her mother knowing CPR and a pulse being detected she still did not make it. God had a plan in mind for her and she is now walking on streets of gold.
On Sunday pastor spoke about crisis at Christmas (the message was already planned). During communion the elders came up behind the pastor and lifted up his arms and prayed for him.
It was a beautiful moment. Pastor also thanked everyone for the outpouring of love and sympathy and then he read this letter from my dad.
“When we lost Zeb, there was such outpouring from the body of Christ. We will never forget it. One letter in particular touched me more than any other. Not because of the eloquent words, but because of the sincerity and the fact that such wisdom could come from a 16 year old young man. I hear the heart of a pastor in it. It has endeared me to not only him, but your whole family.
It was written in his own hand writing on a simple piece of paper ripped from a spiral bound notebook, but we have cherished it and kept it all these years. Hopefully the words will bring as much comfort to you as they did to me in this time. Our hearts ache.”
Here is an excerpt from that letter written by PK’s dad 22 years ago, before he was a husband, before he was a dad, before he lost a child.
“I just want you to know that you have a church family that’s backing you up all the way and what you go through we all go through also. WE feel your pain, and we sympathize with you. I know that you all are strong enough to make it through this tough time, for you do not go through it alone. I love every one of you as if a family member, and when you need help call me.”
There was a lot more to it than that, but this is the part that I could now say right back to his family in the midst of this valley without changing a single word.
I know the funeral is going to be tough. It brings back a lot of memories for me since Zeb’s funeral was at the same church with many of the same people. A couple nights ago as I was putting Zion to bed I held his hand and laid there in the dark with tears rolling down my cheeks. Zeb was just a little older than Zion when he passed away. This isn’t something I think about a lot, but like the letter said what one goes through we all go through. Our brother and sister in Christ lost their child, and I am hurting for them.
PK’s mom is the nursery coordinator (among so many other things that she does around the church). She has been spending the past several months figuring out a way to do a complete overhaul to the sorely outdated facility. She was the one that decided that in lieu of flowers, donation could be made in PK’s honor to renovate the nursery. PK loved the nursery and to have it dedicated to her and have her memory cherished and appreciated by all her friends and the future of the church body sounds like the best idea ever!
I know I am going on and on, but as you can tell this has touched me deeply. Pastor said that when PK’s older sister (who is 6) asked about if PK was coming home from the hospital he told her “You know how sometimes you fall asleep downstairs and then you wake up the next day in your bed and you didn’t even realize that anything had happened? Well that is what happened with your sister.” She fell asleep at home and woke up in her heavenly home for all eternity and one day we will all be reunited singing praises to our God who is still on His throne.