I had not intended to post much if anything around the anniversary of Mack’s passing. I just don’t know what to say. Today is a day like all the other 364 that have preceded this; Mack is not with us. But a few thoughts were prompted by comments on Facebook about a few pictures so here I will share briefly my remembrance of today, one year ago.

One year ago today we had our last day playing and having fun with Mack. The night before we had been out late sledding and playing with our friends. On the 29th we were going to do more sledding but his buddy had a fever. So we played around our yard, went sledding on the golf course, and then in the evening took our usual walk. It was a beautiful cold day with snow from the previous days still deep and crunchy. We have a full, fun day and on that last walk he threw snowballs at us, put snow in mom’s hood, and jumped into snow drifts. We were nicely tired and read stories before going to bed.

We had no idea that he would wake the next morning with a fever or that the fever would indicate that a fire had been started in him that could not be put out. [mfn]We now know that what started as a strep infection quickly moved into sepsis, toxins were in the blood and there is no treatment.[/mfn] We are grateful that we were ignorant of the true nature of these things and instead were able to read with him, love him, and hold him not knowing that it was the last time we would. We have to take what blessings we find, no matter how small.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of this year, just this past week, we were told first of the death of a dear colleague, Joe Mattivi, who had been battling cancer and who is survived by two beautiful daughters and a wonderful wife and then the death of 8 year old Delaney Brown who was also battling cancer. Her’s was a rare form of leukemia and it was the cancer combined with an infection that brought her short life to an end. We have wept for their families. We know the grief and the struggles they are going through and have yet to face. Everyone’s grief and loss is unique, mother and wife, daughter and sister, but all weep for the loss of one loved so well.

I continue to be thankful that we had those last walks with Mack. Those last moments to read with him, watch a movie, bathe him and hold him, not knowing they were all our last moments.  As we come to this most horrible of anniversaries that is where we find joy and peace: remembering that we enjoyed every minute we had with him (like Laney’s family enjoying the thousands who came out to carol for Laney just before her death) and we continue to remember and honor our lively, fun, and silly boy.

Below is a picture of that last sunset and those last footprints in the snow, taken days after he had died.

Rev. 7:9    After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.  10 They cried out in a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

17 for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,

and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,

and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

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