This past weekend, we had the joy of spending time with some precious friends of ours from South Carolina. Kelley & Erik were out here in San Francisco celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary and allowed us to crash their party a few times. It was SO great to be with them. Absolutely a breath of fresh air.
But one thing was heavy on their hearts while they were here. Their 8 year old son, Luke.
Luke just hasn't been himself the past 3 months. They've taken him to the doctor, adjusted the pace of their schedule, and tried a thousand different modifications. But they couldn't figure out what was going on. He seemed to be doing a little better as the summer progressed, but while Kelley & Erik were out here in CA, Luke started doing worse. Could it be anxiety about them being gone? Anxiety about school starting back up? They didn't know, but it was breaking their hearts.
Then I got a text this morning from Kelley saying that they were at the hospital. Luke was diagnosed today with leukemia.
Leukemia? It seems unreal. I cannot even imagine what they are going through right now. They are all I've thought about today.
When Andy & I were in college, Erik was the youth pastor of the church that we went to. He was brave enough to give Andy and me a chance, so we served there with the youth ministry throughout our time in college. Erik gave us a lot of freedom to grow in our leadership and a lot of grace when we made some bone-head mistakes. He and Kelley believed in us and were oh so patient with us. We became great friends during that time.
I'm not sure if the feeling was mutual, but I felt (still feel) such a kindred spirit with Kelley. We were separated by a 7 year age gap and a couple stages of life, but I admired her, loved her personality, and enjoyed being with her so much. I continually sought out as much time as possible with her. We were in Bible studies together. She was my accountability partner while Andy & I were dating. She was a dear, dear friend to me. And though time and distance has separated us, I still feel like I'd love to stay up all night talking to her every time I see her!
Kelley and Erik were both in our wedding.
I was there the night Kelley found out she was pregnant with Luke. I did some ridiculous celebration dance right there in her sister's living room.
And now that precious child is laying in a hospital bed awaiting his first round of chemo.
I realize that most of you reading this blog have never met this amazing family. But surely you can empathize with their pain to some level. If you are willing, would you please leave a comment to let met know that you are praying and/or an encouraging note for Kelley and Erik. I will be sure to pass them along.