Immanuel came. God truly is with us in this house and also with you.
Kevin went to be with the Lord at 3:00 am this morning (December 24th).
We had a wonderful day with him. We let him “sleep in” yesterday morning to conserve his energy. We had a family Christmas celebration yesterday morning where Kevin came out to the chair in the living room. Rachel and the kids opened so many wonderful presents that you all had sent them and were delighted with joy.
Kevin was able to give Rachel a hug as he was getting help getting back in bed and it was a true gift to her.
They were able to get some wonderful family pictures together.
Some old friends came by to sing and worship with Rachel and Kevin. It was beautiful.
Later a choir came by to sing Christmas hymns. That was also beautiful.
All day today we could tell that Kevin was getting closer to (as hospice puts it and we sarcastically joke) his “final journey”.
Once the house quieted down and midnight approached, Rachel crawled up in the bed next to Kevin and fell asleep.
Ashley got on one side and I got on the other and we prayed and talked to Kevin – telling him it was ok to let go and dreaming out loud of all the things he may be about to encounter. We turned on the Trinity Worship and Prayer album and let it repeat over and over as we sang and the hours passed.
As the time grew near, an old friend of Kevin’s showed up and came in the room and joined us. We let Rachel sleep right next to Kevin until the very end. Then we woke her. He took his last breaths and we embraced Rachel and sobbed. It is over. Kevin’s suffering is over.
I wish he could tell us what it was like – entering glory.
I think Kevin might be on the greeting committee for each of us and I told him so.
It was the most peaceful process I have ever seen. Truly, God is with us.
Kevin is the most unique and gentle men I have ever met. I joined Rachel as she opened his “If I die” file today. That man prepared the way for his wife. His file showed his steadfastness and commitment to protect and provide for his family, but also his humor. There were many laughs as we read through it.
What a way to end the Advent season…watching and waiting for the Lord to come to a dying man- to provide relief to his body and to comfort his widowed wife and children. He is faithful to do all that He has promised.
I hope that you will take Kevin, Rachel, Jude and Evie with you into Christmas Day. Tell their story at your dinner table. Pray for them as you spend time with your own family. Don’t forget all that God has done in their lives and will continue to do. Don’t forget them in the days to come. This new stage will be harder than ever.
Let this courageous family and their story live through you. Let this change you. I am forever changed and absolutely convinced of God’s love and faithfulness to us EVEN when things don’t go the way we want. Oh, how He loves us.
For now, goodnight. I must sleep.
I don’t know when Rachel will write, but pray for her and the kids and all of those who have lost the presence of Kevin.
Merry Christmas. Immanuel – God is with us