Thursday, May 22, 2014

Live Like You Were Dying

I'm not going into the whole story. The bottom line is that I have never felt more compelled to write a post. My heart is heavy and I just feel so sad! And powerless? There are no words to describe the absolute powerlessness that I have been wrestling with since Friday night.

Many readers of this blog know Randy Bean's situation and have read Robin's updates at I knew Tuesday when the update's first line was "This is a difficult post to write...." that I was going to be forced to do the same. This is a very difficult post to write.

Robin was a member of the famed RLT Class of '83 and a member of the same church youth group that I was. Robin is a GOOD! Nothing like me. She's quiet, kinda shy, and never seeks to draw attention to herself. Candidly, we were never really that close. She would never align herself with a loud, arrogant, attention-seeking A** like me. I would suppose that most of her responses to me, back in the day, would be a simple head shake, while thinking "Who in the world does this clown think he is?"

A little over a year ago, Robin's husband, Randy, was diagnosed with some sort of inoperable brain tumor that I can neither spell nor pronounce. A year nearly went by before I reached out. That was in January. Sunday night was the second time. Two times in 15 months. God forgive me!

I sat with Robin for a few hours back in January while Randy was having a shunt inserted to relieve the pressure on his brain. I have never felt more powerless or ill-equipped to be in any situation.

I was SUPPOSED to be the one doing the encouraging! Just the opposite occurred. Robin encouraged me. Her strength, determination, and sense of peace was unlike anything I have encountered in a long time. I left the hospital numb and made several phone calls on the drive home just trying to process the whole experience.

Randy and Robin are raising two boys with Down Syndrome. Barring Divine intervention, Robin will soon be facing this prospect alone. I CANNOT imagine! But Robin CAN! And in those few short hours, I encountered and learned a lot about a Mother's love. Robin's concern for these two boys and her absolute dedication to their well-being is beyond measure. I will not try to quote her exact words. But I truly wish each of you could look into her eyes when she talks about her boys.

Through the generosity of friends and strangers, Randy has been given the opportunity to live like he was dying. He took his boys on a trip to Colorado and recently, just he and Robin got to get away.  Tim McGraw's song has a special meaning for Randy and Robin. I am just so grateful that they got to go "Rocky Mountain Climbing."

Think of the Bean family often over the next weeks. And if you pray, please ask God to wrap His loving arms around this family.

Post Script: As soon as I re-activated my FB account, I learned that Gail Jones Criss's (also the Class of '83 and another member of that same church youth group) Husband has Stage 4 Lung Cancer. I would ask the same for them.