this morning we wept when we learned that a dear family friend had lost his very young son Luke. Luke was an amazing little boy who was smart and funny and happy despite suffering horrendous medical problems from the age of two. I still recall the Thanksgiving Weekend years ago when we found out Luke had been diagnosed with brain cancer. He was barely two. He soldiered through chemo and various other treatments to become a cancer survivor by the ripe old age of four.
the chemotherapy has left him with a hearing loss but he learned to speak quite well with the use of hearing aids. He was extremely articulate and shared his joy and sense of humor with us each time we saw him. Because he was immuno-compromised he was not allowed to have tons of interaction with other kids (petri dishes that they are...) so he grew up in adult company.
the last time we saw Luke he made beautiful drawings for us. I posted his drawing for me on an earlier blog post last January. here it is again-
you can see it is filled with love and joy (and dominoes!) and signed Love, Luke.
Shortly after this drawing Luke became ill - not the cancer again - he was still cancer free when he passed away this morning. He was suffering the loss of lung function, a side effect of the chemotherapy he underwent to save his life four years earlier. His situation deteriorated and he was taken north to Philadelphia to the Children's Hospital for specialist treatment. About a week ago he was too ill to see anyone but his parents and was in ICU awaiting a lung transplant. Just a day ago he was flown to Columbus where a donor was located but he never made it to surgery.
I cry as I type these words- the brave little soul passed into spirit this morning. He was such an amazing little kid and it is such a painful loss to everyone who knew him but especially to his parents Brian and Lisa. He was so treasured by his parents. And in a bitter irony that life sometimes deals out- Brian trained and worked for many years as a respiratory therapist.
you know- sometimes life sucks and when it does we have to hold on to those things we have that get us through- the love of our friends and family, faith, joy in small pleasures and treasured moments. My heart aches for all of those who loved Luke and feel the loss with his passing.
And I am reminded again that life is short- that everything on this physical plane can be gone in an instant. For any of us.... Do the things you love, spend time with those you love and who create more joy in your life. Go NOW, do NOW, don't wait - don't wait... there is too little time not to focus on the loving, the joy, the happiness.
Today I am remembering Luke the day he created the drawing filled with love above. And, I am crying....