This maybe a little rambling, but I just felt the need to touch on this subject as it's affecting many people around me at the moment.
Those of you who connect with me on Facebook will have seen my posts the past 10 days about a very sick friend. Well it makes me very sad to report he lost his battle on Friday and moved onto a better and more peaceful place. As is usually the case though, he has left behind so much sorrow and many of us wondering how this could happen so fast.
Doug was young, in his mid' 30's, he was the Superintendent of the school in the town where I live and a big part of our small community. He was married to a local girl, who I happen to work with at my school in the next town and they have a 5yr old son in our Kindergarten.
Doug was a vibrant and passionate man; always learning, always had an opinion and very much a larger than life personality. The kids loved him and he did everything he could to help them in life. He loved the latest gadgets and was the first person I knew to have a Kindle! As with most big personality types he had some who didn't warm to him, but I think everyone appreciated his efforts for a small town school struggling to survive. There is no doubt in my mind, the school would not have done as well without his leadership and especially his wonderful grant writing abilities.
He was the person who first suggested being a substitute teacher to me and then he employed me before anyone else and welcomed me into his school community. I probably wouldn't be working where I am now if it wasn't for Doug and his great suggestion and faith in me.
The Hubster will be forever grateful for the efforts Doug put it into helping his younger son, during a troubled patch. He was a former school board member and would often enjoy long chats about life and school politics with him, especially when Doug just needed an understanding friendly ear he could trust.
He was also a devoted dad with a son who is very much a 'mini-me' to look at, so now I will look at him and still see Doug.
On Tuesday 7th September he went to hospital after a very bad persistent headache would not leave him. He was assessed and quickly moved to one of the major OKC hospitals and there they discovered a large brain tumor. It just left us all in a state of shock.
They operated the next day, but could not get it all and the eventual prognosis was Doug had 18 months at best. It was devastating news for everyone. A few days later he suffered a mini stroke and was put on life support, but we all kept praying and believing miracles do happen. We just wanted him to have some more time with his family.
But it wasn't to be, he didn't wake again and then Friday Pneumonia developed and he passed in the early evening. It was just so sudden, 10 days from start to finish and he was too young, with so much life to live still. The Hubster and I have both shed tears at his loss and are still finding it very hard to process.
It has been a bad year in our small area for losses. You may remember we lost two young brothers who were Elementary students in a car accident in the Spring. Just a fortnight ago we lost an older lady I was friends with who found out she had pancreatic cancer and then was gone within two weeks. I went to sign the book and view her just so I could get some closure, again it was so sudden! It seems like almost daily we hear of someone either getting seriously sick or dying, there have been so many funerals here recently.
There is almost a blanket of sadness over the local community.
I see people shaking their heads in disbelief and trying to understand why this is happening so much right now.
When I arrived here I had my faith, it's always been there, but in England it was pushed to the back of my life. But here, having your faith and attending church is everywhere, people wear their religious convictions like a badge of pride.
Personally I am not one to quote religious verse or discuss my beliefs, and we are infrequent church goers at the moment. We both happen to believe we don't need to be in church to prove our faith. How we act towards others, how we conduct ourselves and what we know we believe, is what we'll be judged on ultimately.
I have prayed more in the past 10 days then I have in many months. In fact I would say I have been clinging to my faith or this would make no sense. A man has died way too young, a little boy has been left without a dad, family and friends are bereft. All I can think is "why"?
My only comfort right now is coming from believing there is a God and he knows what he is doing.