Due to complications with the pregnancy some 19 years ago, Drew was born with myriad disabilities. Blind & deaf, mentally challenged ... he's lived in a world that is, largely, of his own design. His mother (who's photo you'll find adjacent to the word devotion in any dictionary) has scrapped & fought for him all his life, making certain he's been given the benefit of an education & nurture in a culture that finds him to be an oddity. He is a treasure in, and to their family. Big brother Dillon, 20, considers him to be a hero.
Last Friday Drew had one of many Grand Mal seizures; this one while bathing. Typically he's allowed to bath alone for 5 - 8 minutes at a time. On Friday, that duration combined with the seizure caused him to drown in his own vomit & bath water. Upon discovery, CPR was started at once and paramedics summoned. He was resuscitated, but prospects looked grim.
The vigil began.
While I was there with Drew's parents, Craig & Nancy (his father is my daughter-in-law's cousin), the Neurosurgeon came by. She - the lady doctor - read & pondered, answered questions; answered more questions, and then summoned a deep breath to give Drew's parents a medical opinion no parent wants to hear: Drew is probably already brain dead, but I won't know with certainty until we can remove him from all meds and then perform an indepth physical & EEG." That process of removal & exams will begin today or tomorrow.
I wanted to leave the room in the worst way, though I had been tucked back into a corner and would have to interrupt the doctor/parent discussion underway in order to escape. Instead, I prayed while floods of tears bathed my face and neck. I listened to the mournful wails of a bereft mother, all the while looking to the Lord for His comfort for them, for the doctor (who had streaming tears of her own) and for myself: "You know, Father don't You, the unique depths of pain at the dying of a child?"
Church this morning was profoundly powerful as Pastor Art wove the Christmas story from the soil of its early telling & promise in Genesis, through the life of Abraham & Israel, to the advent of Kings and the hope of Prophets ... right down to the silent night of holy birth of the longed-for Messiah King: God With Us. He ended his message with this amazing song & video.
I hadn't planned to have such a burdensome Christmas post, but somehow it seems more scrumptious fare than anything fanciful I might have quickly crafted.
Today I am again reminded in the most powerful, personal way of the one, sure, certain hope for all mankind for all of time, and for those - like Craig & Nancy - who suffer here and now: Immanuel.
Blessings & Good News
this Christmas season and always.
UPDATE: At 4:00pm Christmas Day (yesterday), Drew's life-support was removed. At 4:30pm, he moved from being disabled & comatose, to dancing on streets that are golden: fully alive & made whole.
God's myriad comforts upon all who grieve today.