There are two posts in waiting.  And I will post them soon, because they are stories worth sharing.  But tonight, I need to write about Drew.

A young man whose family was as much a part of my childhood and faith upbringing as any pastor.  Drew’s mom was my favorite Sunday School teacher.  Her boys, Drew and Marc, were the the kind of kids you could tell were going to grow up and be great people.  Kind.  Funny.  Solid.  Drew was a little younger than my younger sister, so I will always think of him as a kid.  I know that he has grown up, and is a well respected young man.  But when I think of him, I think of the kid in youth group who made everyone smile with his sweet words.  I remember his deep love for his brother – how those two were inseparable.  I mean, who likes their sibling at that age?  But those boys loved each other, and were a great example of a strong family.  I can’t think of a time when I ever saw a member of that family without a genuine smile on their face.

When my mom called me today, I could hear the tears in her voice.  Hearing about Drew’s passing was like a slap.  I may not have known him well as an adult, but that family is part of my story. And to hear of their loss is heartbreaking.  Such a well-loved man in our church and our community.  It is hard to think that someone so wonderful, so gracious, is gone too soon.

And then I think selfish thoughts.  Like how grateful I am to be able to hug my husband tonight.  Drew leaves behind a wife, expecting their first child in just a few months.  And I think, the heartache she will face – I can only pray I never know.  The grief his mother – his wonderful mother – is feeling tonight.  I can hardly bear the thought.  I feel lucky.  Lucky to know my loved ones are safe, and at home.  Lucky to be able to call them and say I love you.  And then I feel guilty for feeling lucky.

Its strange, what tragedy does, how it makes you feel.  These mixed emotions of sorrow, guilt, gratitude.  I keep checking his facebook page – reading the remarks and memories others are leaving.  And each one hurts my heart.

I think I will probably always remember him as a kid.  Sweet-natured, always smiling, fun loving Drew.  I pray that whatever memories he leaves behind with others, that they hold on to them.  And that they talk about him often.  He is definitely someone worth remembering.