Sunday, March 29, 2009
Russell touched a lot of lives in his just-short-of-fifteen years.
Diagnosed with leukemia the day before his 4th birthday and then with a brain tumor a few weeks after his 13th, Russell has had what most people would call a rough life. Well, most people except Russell. During his 4+ years of treatment, faced with some of the most painful and unpleasant conditions and procedures humans ever experience, Russell riveted all who came near him with his courage, patience, and of all things, inexplicable grace.
Doctors, nurses, friends, family, even strangers. Most of them walked away from their time with Russell and report similar feelings. Why isn't he complaining? How can he be so willing? How come I feel better after being with Russell? For those of us close to Russell it is so obvious.
Russell knew Jesus.
Russell met Jesus face-to-face at 1:26 this morning. He was peaceful.
Make no mistake. Those of us left behind here at the hospital with Russell's empty body are hurting deeply. We feel a great loss. But make no second mistake. We have been blessed beyond words by the experience. At his side, we have laughed out loud and cried 'till we were dry. But we have known the Real Deal! We've been touched by greatness. We have known, right up close, a real hero in our lives. We have known Russell.
"Thank you" does not seem enough to say for your sustaining words and care but we do feel and mean it from deep inside.
Update: This was written by Russell's parents, not by me. Sorry.