On May 8, 2014, the impossible happened. Jeannie’s and my eldest child—our precious Rebecca— was taken from us in a tragic accident at the age of 32.
It was an unseasonably warm spring day, with temperatures in the 80s. Rebecca was out for a run along Lake Michigan, and we believe she was trying to cool off from her exertion. She slipped from a rock wall and fell into the lake. Unable to climb back up onto the rocks, she was overcome by the frigid water. Hypothermia set in, and she drowned.
When we heard the news, it crashed over us, consuming us with an indescribable pain that was both sickening and familiar. Just 9 years ago, we experienced the loss our youngest son, Alex, at the age of 17.
Surely, it can’t be true? In just a moment, another child was gone.
Rebecca was a two-time London champion for running 800 meters, a scholarship to Loyola University for MBA, track runner and record breaker for Loyola, grade-A student. But for all of her achievements, the thing we miss the most, of course, is her person—her just being with us.
Humble, gentle, passionate, genuinely caring, filled with love and unseen acts of kindness, always reaching out to build people up, to bless them, to take care of them, she was beautiful both inside and out.
Oh how we miss Rebecca, especially me on this Father’s Day. And yet, as Jeannie said, ‘we must now ‘labor’ to ensure her amazing legacy is passed on to encourage and inspire others to live a selfless life in service to the King of Kings.
Why, God, why? …read more
Find me on Twitter @Gerard_Long and see how God is taking me and my family through this difficult time.
Gerard Long is the executive director of Alpha USA.