Eric has just left several hours ago for an unexpected trip to Utah. His Dad and Mom were vacationing in Bryce Canyon, and his Dad apparently fell down on the ice when going out to clean off the car. He was medi-vacced to a larger hospital in Provo, Utah, where he is in Intensive Care right now. He has been unconscious since he fell, and apparently suffered a brain hemorrhage and likely a stroke of some kind as well.
Eric’s brother Mark drove to be with his parents from L.A. and is there now; his two other brothers and sister flew in from Hawaii; Eric will arrive tomorrow to be with them all. We heard that the doctors plan to do an EEG to see if there is brain activity or not; the prognosis does not look very good. I am praying for the Lord’s timing in all of this, and that Eric will have time with his Dad and be there if hard decisions need to be made.
This week is spring break for us in Japan, which is good in that we don’t have class responsibilities. We are bummed that Eric will miss a special visit from our friend Scott Shaum, and of course not be able to hang out with our family while our kids are off school. We have a special Easter outreach planned for Sunday (Eric was supposed to give the main message– that will need to change); and I will need to cancel several outings with some neighbor friends.
One thing I have found in many years of following Jesus is that He loves even in our hardest times to bring sweet comfort. We first got the call about Eric’s dad at 5 am Sunday morning. When Eric went downstairs a little later, he found an international package in our entryway that a neighbor must have dropped off the day before when we were out and we didn’t see it. It was from Eric’s sister Mona– the family portraits that we had taken when we had spent time over New Year’s in Hawaii. These were Mona and her husband John’s special Christmas gifts to all of us. It took longer than expected to receive them because the photographers, as a gift to all of us, photoshopped Ian’s picture into the family portrait! (We found out about Ian joining us at the tail end of our time in Hawaii). This is a photo of the original portrait that showed up in our entranceway on Sunday:
Receiving these family pictures of Eric and his family — especially Eric’s Dad — has been sweet balm for us these past few days. I am praying for this same balm to comfort Eric’s mom and siblings, especially. I hold on to the promise of Psalm : “The Lord in His kindness shall meet me at every corner.” (Psalm 59:10)