Last weekend I was watching "The Shawshank Redemption," and I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something familiar about the actor who played the District Attorney. The more I watched, the more I kept wondering where I'd seen him before. Then it hit me...it was the same actor as the guy who played Dale on "The Walking Dead"! I was so excited (and relieved) that I figured it out, and the first thought that came to my mind was, "I can't WAIT to tell..." My heart sank. Tears quickly formed behind my eyes. Luke was the one person I wanted to call, because "Shawshank" was one of our favorite movies, and we loved watching "The Walking Dead" together. He would have loved that conversation, and I would have loved having it with him.
It was one month ago today that Luke died. The loss is profound. We miss him so deeply, so consistently. There is a gaping hole in our lives, and in the world, because Luke is gone. We have lost a son, a brother, a grandson, an artist, a friend, an entertainer, a servant, a student, really a phenomenal young man. There is no replacing him.
At the same time, though Luke's life has ended, his impact on the world has not. We have been touched by the different ways Luke has been remembered. I've had four different people tell me they've shared Luke's story during sermons they delivered at church. The Mason High School band performed "Star Wars" (Luke's favorite) at halftime of the football game, and wore yellow ribbons in Luke's honor. There was a moment of silence in Luke's honor at the annual "Compete for Cause" Mason / Okemos soccer game, and several players wore Luke's name and "Romans 8:18" on the back of their jerseys. John King competed in a kayak race in Luke's name. The other day I visited the bank, and there were a bunch of "I made a donation to cancer research" stickers on display, with Luke's name written on them. Each of these stories has breathed a little bit of life into our broken hearts, and we are grateful.
My "daily cry" takes place each day when I stop by the Mason Post Office and get to see what's in P.O. Box 818. I walk in, pull out the Luke Legacy Fund envelopes, and then I go sit in my car and cry as I open each one. The generosity is mind blowing, but what really impacts me is the variety of people who have been moved to make a gift to further Luke's vision to help kids be able to hear about Jesus. This means everything to us, because it shows how far reaching Luke's story has been. It's the very definition of a "legacy." We are grateful that Luke's life has inspired so many. In the one month since Luke died, the Luke Legacy Fund has received over 120 donations and the total amount is nearing $50,000. Our goal of $200,000 by January 1st is within reach. We have already begun praying for the kids who will be able to attend camp next summer because of scholarships they receive from the Luke Legacy Fund.
One month. Has it only been one month? Has it already been one month? We are so grateful for the ways Luke is being remembered, but we miss our boy. We just do. It's hard, and it's painful. One month. Please keep our family in your prayers.
James & Lu
(for Sam, Jay, and Luke)