Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tears from Heaven

Thunder shook my house early this morning. It was raining really hard, for a moment I thought "It rained on the day of Jeffrey's funeral... I wonder if Kerri is with him now?"

Later this morning, a phone call confirmed my suspicions...

Maybe they were raindrops with two messages. I'd like to imagine that they were heaven's tears of sadness for everyone who will miss her and tears of joy for those in heaven who are so happy to see her.

I imagine angels escorting her up into a bright and warm atmosphere of divine satisfaction-the kind that leaves no need or want for anything. I picture Jesus, her savior being first in line to welcome her. Standing near Him, I see a group of family and friends beaming with smiles and giggles holding up banners and cheering. The one in front, the tall, handsome golden boy takes his mother's hand...

In this fantasy-part-fact, I feel great comfort knowing that something like that or something infinitely better happened in the wee hours of this morning. I also know that the journey for the rest of us will be difficult. In fact, this is the beginning of the tough part.

I am afraid we will ache for a very long time.

For the family, we have a job. We must wrap them in prayer and hold them up. Follow them through hell and back, whatever it takes... This is the part where words fail... the going forth... Lord give them your comfort and strength.

Her friends and co-workers will ache just as well. To them, this feels like loosing close relative because Kerri made that kind of impact around here-she is part of what made us all feel so connected. To so many of us, she is not just another person who we have lost... it feels like our very heart has been ripped out.

And, Kerri if you can read these words, I want you to know how much I admire and respect you. I hope you know that I am one of your biggest fans. Thank you for being such a wonderful part of my son's life. I notice the careful attention you spent with each kid and how you went above and beyond with the photos, hand-print pot holders, the turkey feather hats! You demonstrated love in so many ways to so many people for so many years!Thank you for everything.

With much love,
Kacy Latham

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jeffrey's Table... Please Come!

I am still amazed how even in the worst of circumstances
there seems to be a message to all of us...

A message of hope and purpose.

In the ugliness of life and tragedy and deep, hollow hurts, we find these three things:

1: A Message of Gratitude
A call to be grateful for the gifts we have right now. A call to forget petty things and cherish the dear friends and family that we have right here now.
Tragedy does something very good for all of us... it helps us remember what is most precious.

2. The Call to March On.
We must peer outward through our teary eyes and bless others. It is the best way to honor the memories of the ones we miss... by being wholeheartedly present and attentive while we still have time. Like sand in our fingers, we can't hold or grasp the hours or days or what tomorrow might bring...

3. The Faith to Trust God
God just is. This constant is something that I accept yet I don't always understand or like what he allows... I don't like how my prayers are always answered or seemingly unanswered , however I must trust that He is and that all of this brokenness will be redeemed in heaven.

This meal, prepared and served in the memory of Jeffrey Urbanczyk is a testimony to love of his family, church, friends and our community. He is absent yet present in the hearts and actions of everyone who has worked so hard to pull this together. This whole thing was Kerri's idea and though she has had to "sit on the bench" a bit lately, it'd like to say that her "posse" has done a remarkable job of seeing her dream come to fruition. I am still amazed that in the wake of losing her son, her instinct was to serve, to bless and to give.... that moves me more than any other thing.

Please come and dine with your friends and family this Thanksgiving at the First United Methodist Church in Munday.

Come and share in a community celebration of grateful determination to bless our neighbors, bless God and remember our many blessings. Please come and eat!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Now taking orders for shirts.

Many of you already know that Kerri and her family are planning a Thanksgiving Day meal to celebrate Jeffrey's life. Kerri did a lot of work before she got sick, and we are going to help her follow through.

The shirt has Jeffrey's elementary hand-print turkey on the back. The front has a patchwork heart with one missing piece symbolizing the absent yet present spirit of Kerri's middle son Jeffrey. It also symbolizes coming together and doing good, loving others in spite of tragedy.

Also, if you have not read the article in the Times and Record News, you should. All we can say is "Wow".

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes...

Tammie and Jill sent me these photos from Hiz Kidz. Pam sat where Kerri usually sits and they prayed. Jill said it was the sweetest prayer...

Sunday, October 23, 2011