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Cole Family

The little boy you’re looking at is Kirk. I call him "Captain Kirk.” He has had so many losses in his short 8 years – and every one of them has been my loss, too, so that I sometimes could not bear the additional weight of his sorrow. He lost his beloved grandparents (my mother and father) who could not have loved him more. Then he lost John, his step-dad and the only father he had ever known. After John died, he has lost his step-brother and sister who went to live with their mother.

On Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008, Kirk and his step-brother Jake ran home from school, eager to tell Dad about their Christmas parties. They burst through the door and time stopped. They found John lying face-down in the floor. He was dead. Kirk relives that horrifying day over and over when he’s alone. There is so much sadness in his sweet face---and so much hope. He’s an astoundingly strong person. He doesn’t know that life isn’t this painful for some people. I have faith that he will not always have the shadow of pain in his eyes.

I believe there is a reason for everything that happens and that something is gained from every difficult experience in life. While we are slowly straining forward through the floodtide of emotions, the benefits are just over the horizon and we only hope we will eventually recognize them. Let this motivate you to appreciate each experience you share with your family and friends – and let Captain Kirk be your inspiration as he is mine.

-Phyllis