Sam and I come from special families. Large families.
Sam has 8 siblings, all home schooled. I have nine, and we were all home schooled as well. And, we love each others' families.
The term "in-law" never really worked for us, so it was a huge blessing when my brother's wife Chanti came up with the term "in-love" to describe each additional sibling and parent we were able to add through our marriage.
Because it's true. We are in love with our families. Sam's family immediately took me into their embrace and made me their Naomi. They laughed at my jokes- or rolled their eyes at my bad ones. They hugged me, emailed me, made me one of them.
So when I tell you that I physically feel like I am being torn apart by what is happening, you will know- this family, they may be my "in-laws", but they are my "in-loves" too.
Right now, in the bitter watches of the night, there is a pain in the unknown that is especially dark and cold.
We learned Sunday evening that Sam's youngest sister, Mary, age 13, will not be surviving her injuries. As of right now, I don't know that she has passed on to heaven, to the comfort of her sister's arms, but I do know that she is not coming back. Her brain no longer works. She isn't there.
And there are no words that can describe how that feels.
I was going to post photos of Mary and AnnaLeah, from their last visit here in Indiana, but I can't. It's too painful. They are both so beautiful, vibrant, full of life. I can't do it. Not yet.
Mary was an avid photographer- she had inherited my old pocket camera, and loved to keep a blog of the photos she made with it. They were often wildly creative, usually slightly out of focus, but they always contained that galloping enthusiasm she had for life.
AnnaLeah was a slightly quieter girl. She was a writer, and had an amazingly creative mind, yet on the surface she seemed so shy and calm. She always adored animals, even though her allergies kept her from having pets, and so her plan was she was going to be a mom, have 10 kids, and have a crazy big family instead.
They were... are... loved by so many. And my head and heart cannot even begin to comprehend what we have lost.
Thank you for reading this. Thank you for the hugs, and the prayers, and the donations. Your donations enabled Sam to go and be with his Dad, Mom and youngest brother Caleb. So they won't be alone.
The rest of Sam's siblings have amassed in Arlington, TX, aside from Levi who still had college courses to finish through Wed, when he was going to be picked up or delivered to them so they can all be in one place.
Please continue to pray for them all, as they struggle with these burdens and this crushing pain. Lift them up.