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Thoughts and prayers are not enough...

Last week, a family in our community suffered an unspeakable tragedy, as their 8 year old boy lost his brave 4 year battle with cancer. The anguish that this family feels right now cannot be put into words, so I won't even attempt to do so. As the parent of three children, I am most likely not alone when I say that my wife and I spend our days quietly holding our breath, hoping and praying that our children make it safely to school, get home from a friends house or trip downtown in their buddies car in one piece, and longing for the days when we were able to shelter them from many of life's unforeseen dangers. While we are powerless to prevent disease, we felt we could control some of the senseless chaos that life seems to bring every day. Our family will attend the service for this little boy, and as I look upon this child, I will close my eyes and say a prayer for him and his family. I will also quietly, and somewhat selfishly, ask God to spare my family this unimaginable loss, and promise to do all I can to be a good father, husband and do my best to make a positive difference in my community. The outpouring of support from our community has been overwhelming. We are fortunate to live in a place where we have the means to assist those in need. The social media channels are filled with thoughts and prayers from friends, families and strangers. But thoughts and prayers are not enough... We seem to have become a society where heart emoji's and "thoughts and prayers" posts are all we are able to offer, and go about our day. Telling (or worst still text-messaging someone) to "let us know if you need anything" isn't actually doing anything. Sports teams that wear pink socks for breast cancer awareness and think they are making a difference are missing the point. Do something. Anything. Deliver a meal to the family on a Tuesday night, whether they asked for it or not. Just do it. Offer to pick up their children and bring them home to play with yours, so that the mom or dad can do what they need to do but couldn't in front of their children...close the bedroom door and cry. Hard. Remember that when all the services are complete and the relatives all have gone home, this mom and dad will have to go thru his pajamas, his books, his socks and shoes and a million other things, and try to come to grips with what has happened. The hole in their heart is bigger than any of us can imagine.  

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