Early last month, the U.S. was impacted by the coronavirus and the diseased it causes, COVID-19. Other nations had been and have been impacted as well and it is a global pandemic. States, including North Carolina, where I live, have issued stay-at-home orders to help stop the spread of the deadly virus. Schools have been closed. Courts have been closed. Retailers, that don't sell necessary items, have been closed. Thus, for months, we have primarily been at home and I have actually had time to write. I had been working on a second book for years and I am actually about to finish it and possibly release it this month. Wow.
More personally important, about 5 days before the stay-at-home order was issued, on March 9th, 2020 at about 3:30 a.m., my daughter Kelyn, pictured to the left, went home to be with the Lord. She was diagnosed in November of 2017 with a genetic disorder called, Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC). For more information, you can read here (https://nnpdf.org/overview/#NPC). For almost 3 years we watched her health decline as she struggled with the condition. I had another daughter, Amira, who passed away from similar symptoms in 2010. We had no idea of what the condition was back then, but found out upon Kelyn's diagnosis.
I miss Kelyn. She was my beautiful baby girl. Unlike with Amira, I remember everything about Kelyn from birth to death. During Amira's life, my wife and I dealt with so many other family emergencies and situations that I had to fight for memories after she passed. I've been grieving, but I honestly began the grief process when we got Kelyn's diagnosis.
The picture on the left below, while sad, is beautiful. It reflects my family's new normal of enjoying each other while holding on to the memories and what we have left of Amira and Kelyn. You see Amira's beautiful headstone, Kelyn's beautiful casket and floral spray, and my other beautiful children blowing bubbles commemorating Amira's birthday. On March 14th, 2020, Amira would have turned 14, the same day we buried Kelyn.
Of course, there's comedy. The bubble over my eye as I give someone a sarcastic smirk. Joy in the midst of pain. Beauty and fun intertwined with sadness. LIFE. No matter what, because God has made us strong, we are alright and it will all make us better. It's purposed adversity. Speaking of purpose, I recently released a second book called the Fight for Purpose that discusses finding and fulfilling purpose. Check it out.