Yesterday morning, I found out (via Facebook, no less) that my friend Keri’s father had died earlier that morning. He found out last year that he had leukemia, and the last I’d heard, they thought it was in remission. It came back, and Mr. Lou was on his second round of chemo, but it was already too late, and he died in the hospital.
What makes this situation so difficult is that, on February 13, it will have been 14 years since Keri’s 16-year-old brother Jim died from leukemia. Keri and I were nine years old then and best friends. In the last days of Jim’s illness, she spent a lot of nights at my house while her parents stayed in Charleston with Jim. We never really talked about him much–Keri never really talked about Jim at all, even throughout high school. Jim’s death obviously affected her tremendously, and I can’t imagine what it must be like now to have lost her brother and father to the same disease.
My mom called me just a little while ago, after she got home from the visitation at the funeral home. She called to tell me that Keri and her husband Andrew are expecting their first child in July. For Christmas, they gave Mr. Lou a copy of the ultrasound picture.
It doesn’t seem fair that Keri has to lose her father just months before her baby is due. But at the same time, I can see that this must be God’s divine plan: as tragic as their loss is, Keri and Andrew and Keri’s mom have something miraculous to look forward to now. Something that can help heal their broken hearts. At the same time, they realize that Mr. Lou and Jim must surely be rejoicing in heaven over Keri’s pregnancy.
Because of having to meet with my professor tomorrow, I won’t make it home for the funeral. But I’ll most likely go see Keri on Saturday when I head home. It will definitely be bittersweet. I’m not really sure what I’ll say, but mostly, I’ll just remember that God, in all His infinite love and wisdom, has His hands on us all.