Sunday, October 07, 2012

Don't Waste Your Life

When it comes to the death of someone young, or at least someone close to your own age, it always seems so senseless. So unfair. So tragic. So many unanswered questions. So sad. So hard. So many thoughts. So many images flashing through my mind when I close my eyes.

This past week a friend of ours, Patrick Halstead, was taken off of life support after a drowning accident. It all makes no sense. We sit and question what could have happened. We wonder, why? What is God's purpose in all of this?

And there are no answers.

Patrick was a good father and a good friend. He was the kind of guy who would go the extra mile to check on you, just because. 

A few years ago when I was rushed to the ER for a blood clot, Patrick showed up at the ER {shortly after I posted a status update to Facebook}. He came at a critical time for me... I had just learned that besides having a blood clot in my leg, I also had a pulmonary embolism and they would be admitting me to the hospital for a week. Daniel had gone home to pack for the hospital stay and I couldn't reach him to update him about what was going on. I was terrified and alone when Patrick walked through the door. He was one of the few to visit me in the hospital and at the time he didn't even know me that well. He just showed up. Not many people just show up at the critical times in our lives... Patrick was special in that way: he always made time for people.

I hate that Patrick is no longer with us. I hate it for his son. I hate it for his family. I hate that we didn't get to see him when we were in Charlotte a few months ago. But Patrick taught me something invaluable: People are important and I need to be better about making time for people; making time to show up.

Today is Patrick's memorial service in Charlotte and my heart aches for his son, for his family, for those closest to him. When I hold my own son, my heart breaks a little more.

Patrick will be sorely missed by many. I take comfort in the fact that while life was not always easy for him, he was able to take the opportunity {after a lay off from Verizon} to work at the White Water Center in Charlotte doing something he loved. I take comfort in the fact that he didn't waste his life. I take comfort in knowing that I will see him again in Heaven.

Patrick -- I hope that you knew that you were loved. I hope that you knew that you touched a lot of people by showing up. 

*Pictures from a camping trip in the North Carolina Mountains in September, 2008.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. I went to school with him and couldn't agree with you more. A WONDERFUL man.


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