For the past two years, the Always Andy’s Mom podcast has had a Christmas episode focusing on hopeful stories, little messages we have received from heaven or from our loved ones. (They can be found at www.andysmom.com/17 and www.andysmom.com/67). I love it when these little experiences happen to me. They help me to know that Andy is OK even when I am not.
I remember the very first of these instances. It happened on the day of Andy’s funeral. For years, our kids played with this rubber ball outside. It had the character, Diego, covering it. It was slightly smaller than a soccer ball. As the boys go older, they could kick it higher and higher. They had so much fun kicking that ball as hard at they could.
One day, however, the ball got stuck up in a tree. We live in a two story house with a walkout basement so essentially, from the backyard, our bedrooms are on the third story. I could see that ball out of my bathroom window each day. It was permanently wedged there, and after months and then over 2 years went by, I assumed the ball would not come down until the tree died. We had thunderstorms and blizzards through those years and nothing caused that ball to move even an inch.
On the day of the funeral, however, that ball inexplicably fell to the ground in our backyard. No wind, not rain, no reason why it should have fallen, but it just fell to the ground. I like to think it was Andy. I remembered that day when the ball go stuck and how upset he was when Eric and I told him there was no way to get the ball. That day, however, he had the power, or God had the power, to get that ball down for him.
This year, I want to keep telling stories like this for Christmastime. Gwen and I are doing a Livestream on Facebook Live and on my YouTube channel this Tuesday, December 21st at 8pm. If you have an inspiring story to contribute, PLEASE email it to me at email@example.com.
Also know, that Gwen and I will be available to answer any questions you have before Christmas as well. You can also write in or tell your stories on the Livestream as well. I can invite up to 8 people to join the Livestream if you’d rather tell your story in your own words. I have a few stories now, but would love to have even more!
I have to tell you how much I enjoy your podcast and have listened to it from Day one.
I also lost a 16 yr old Grandson from Zeeland Mi. His name was Keaton Kroll. He died November 16th 2019 from a Bi-lateral Pulmonary Embolism while playing soccer a game he so loved. He reminds me so much of your precious son Andy. He loved God, loved the game of soccer, had a ton of friends and was always there for anyone. Our community of Zeeland has embraced Danielle and Kurt with several events “love like Keaton”, so if you see a soccer ball sticker on someone’s car that has the initials “KAK” on it that’s for our beautiful grandson Keaton. Last week at Walmart in Holland my husband and I saw a car with the soccer ball on it and the license plate was Pa. We wanted to wait for the people to come out of the store, but we had to leave. This is the worst thing that has happened to our family. He left an older sister Emerson 22 and an older brother Aidan. 21. Keaton was the baby of their family. Without God in their lives, they would never have gotten through this. They are a very close knit family and this has brought them even closer. I recommend your podcast to friends and family that have lost a child.
My daughter does go to Starlight ministries for support and I have emailed her your podcast but she just isn’t ready to listen yet. It’s still so painful. These last two weeks she has been posting beautiful pictures of Keaton on Facebook. They are all Bittersweet pictures but I love seeing his beautiful face at all the different ages. We all feel Keaton was special and we know God takes the special kids, and he is in a better place, but gone way too soon. He will forever be in our hearts and will never be forgotten. I think of you often and the terrible way you lost Andy. You have done such a great service helping all these grieving parents and extended families with your podcast. It takes so much time and energy along side of being a busy Dr. My daughter Danielle is a special Ed teacher of young Autistic children between the ages of 3-4 and honestly her job saved her after Keaton died. Sorry this is so long but I just wanted to thank you for all you have done and tell you how much you are appreciated. 😘😊🙏
Thank you so much for writing. I am so glad that you find comfort in the podcast. Perhaps, someday, your daughter will as well. Thank you so much for telling me about the soccer ball stickers! I will definitely be looking for them. Both of by boys used to play soccer against teams that used those Zeeland fields so I can honestly say that I can picture him running on those fields. There is probably a chance that we were both watching soccer games at that some time on some Saturdays in the now too distant past.