Thursday, July 6, 2017

A tribute to Elynn by Gary Clark

Did you find one of the balloons from Elynn's memorial service?

Please comment here and let us know where you found it!

A personal note from Gary Clark

{my sweet dad emailed this to all of his clients and it is just too sweet to not share}

Financial planning and investment management are important. Work is important. Providing for your family…. very important. But we need to check up on a regular basis to make sure we are not neglecting some very important things that money can’t buy.

A little more than ten years ago our daughter, Jenny was pregnant with her second child and going through a divorce. So, we agreed to move in together to share expenses and so that my wife, Emily could help with the children. About four years ago Jenny, along with a commitment from Emily, me and the two children, began her ministry of serving special needs children, including those with significant health challenges. I now have two grandchildren who are natural-born and two who are adopted. The two adopted ones have Down Syndrome. JoJo is quite healthy but the other one, not so much…two heart surgeries along with a lung disease are the major challenges for Zee. Zee spent most of his first year of life in the hospital. His future was dim until Jenny brought him home, along with lots of medical equipment.

Jenny, along with Emily’s help, has taken loving care of quite a few foster children for various periods of time. About a year ago Jenny agreed to take responsibility for the care of a two-year-old baby with Downs and with very fragile health. Elynn's heart and lung condition was severe, his needs were many and his life expectancy was short. He didn't have much hope for having a family or even for having a good place to live. Jenny brought him home and, along with the help of Emily, gave him a family, a good place to live, good medical care and all the love and affirmation with which any any son could be blessed. He   spent a lot of time in the hospital, including two heart surgeries as well as other surgeries and procedures. He never gained the strength to walk—in fact, he never even crawled. He moved around by rolling and by scooching. However, he didn’t go far because he was attached to oxygen. He never took any food or liquids by mouth. No ice cream, no candy, not even a bottle. Anything swallowed went into his lungs due to a deformity that apparently couldn’t be fixed. Of course, he took food though a tube directly into his stomach. He suffered a lot of pain and discomfort. He struggled to breath.

Thursday morning, June 29, Elynn’s frail little body finally gave out. He went to be with our Lord Jesus….

Jesus wiped every tear from his eyes.
No more pain, no more discomfort.
He doesn’t need extra oxygen, he can breathe just fine now.
No more trips to the hospital.
No more surgeries or procedures.
He can now laugh normally without having to take a breath between every “ha”.

I was influenced by Elynn. Even though he was very weak physically, he was mentally strong. When he felt relatively well, he would be smiling, happy and playing as best he could. He was very liberal with throwing kisses to anyone who would give him some attention. What he wanted most was expressions of our love…hugs and kisses. When he felt neglected, he would sometimes be quite vocal about it but all we had to do was to pick him up or lie down beside him on the floor—just look at him and talk to him and be close enough for him to touch us.

In human terms, Elynn got a very bad deal in life--but he didn’t do much whining. I often wondered why he didn’t cry more, especially when I would notice a grimace from some internal pain. I have had a very good deal in life but I have spent too much time whining, complaining and feeling sorry for myself. I think I will be a better person due to the influence of my foster-grandson Elynn. His first word that I remember was, Papa. I like that.

Someone may say, “he is only a foster child”. But, he is family…I can assure you that we love him accordingly.

To everyone who is still reading, I want to thank you for caring. Please show your concern for someone who is less fortunate than you—especially children--especially family. I can assure you that no one wants be alone when death is imminent. Too many times, I have made up an excuses for attending a funeral...I'll bet you have too. Our conditions are terminal too--it's just a matter of time. They need to be remembered and we need to be reminded. 

Love must be sincere.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction.
Share with God’s people who are in need.
Practice hospitality.
Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.
Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position.
Romans 12

May God bless you richly,
Gary Clark

{memorial celebration will be held on Monday July 10th at 1pm at The Church at Brook Hills}

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