Monday, October 11, 2010

In Memory of Luke.....

Last week we received some very sad news. Frankly I haven't felt like blogging and I certainly can't blog about anything else before I dedicate this post to our dear friend, Luke.

John went to a men's Bible group a few years ago that met at Starbucks. He came home one night and said he met a young college student-- a funny, smart, super-nice guy who was far away from his family in California, and do you think we should invite him over for dinner one night? Sure, I said.

So in a week or so I met Luke for the first time. I think I made enchiladas. He did certainly have a sense of humor, an obvious zeal for life, good manners. He spoke about his wonderful family back home, and his dream of being a successful businessman. What struck me most about Luke was how easily he engaged in conversation with us and how quickly he connected with our kids. The kids LOVED him, and begged to have him over again. And so our relationship with Luke began. He started coming over to play Wii, or RockBand, and to watch movies. He helped John with projects around the house. And of course he would come over for home cooked meals and even brought a friend a time or two. He spent one Thanksgiving with us.

Luke told us that he loved hanging with our family because he too wanted a big family. :) He knew he would have to pick a special woman, one that could handle six kids (ha!) and so our family and our home soon became the 'ultimate test' for any girls he dated. Yes he brought three different girls over, and apparently they all failed the test because he remained single. :)

Luke was full of life and adventure. I am quite certain he managed to pack more fun and adventure in his 25 years than most of us can in a lifetime. Every time he came over he would tell the boys about his adventures rock climbing, mountain climbing, canoeing, fishing, cliff diving, etc..

Exactly one week ago Luke, who was in California visiting his parents, wrote on his facebook status: "Luke has a new favorite thing....Freediving for lobster at night!"

I commented: "Luke I think you were born in the wrong century."

How I wish I had left this comment instead: "Luke you are such an amazing guy. I love your zeal for life, your fearlessness, your freedom. I wish I had more of it. You are an incredible role model to my kids, a godly man with noble character. You are they kind of man I hope my daughters marry someday. You would be a wonderful father. We love having you in our lives, and we are so glad we have had the opportunity in this life to know you. Thank you for taking the time to take my boys fishing, and for letting them reel in the fish even when you were actually the one to catch it. Thank you for helping us build the fort. Liesel still talks about it. Thank you for tossing Hope up in the air and catching her, and dancing with her. You made her feel pretty special. Thank you for stroking Ava's bald head, and smiling at her, and telling her she is beautiful. That meant the world to me. Thank you for being a friend to John, and for telling me you like my cooking. You're a good friend and we are sure glad we have the privilege of knowing you."

That is what I wish I would have said.

Please friends, go call someone you love. Tell them you love them. Tell them what you love about them. Forgive them. Make plans to see them soon, Invite them for dinner this week. Write something nice on their Facebook wall......

You never know when it will be the last time.

We will never forget you, Luke Ausdemore.



19 comments:

Gretchen Thibault said...

Oh my...how terribly painful. I am so very sorry. What a tragic story. It must seem very unreal. My prayers are with you and for his family.That is too sad.

Blessings to you.
Gretchen

Deb D. said...

Charissa ~ I'm heartbroken for the sorrow you and your family feel in the passing of Luke. Though the certainty of where he is gives deep peace, the pain of the absence of him in your lives "down here" is very real. There is something extra sharp in the pain when the life that ends is of one who is so outstanding and for whom life is just really beginning. It just sucks the air of of one's lungs to have someone like that go. Clearly Luke was that kind of person. What an earthly loss. I'm so sorry. And what a painful life lesson for the kids. (I imagine your and John's pain is magnified by the kids' pain.) May the contributions he made in your lives be realized for decades to come, and may the Lord be glorified by that. I think that's what Luke would want, from how you've described him.

Maria said...

Oh, how absolutely tragic! I'm so sorry for the loss of Luke.

I wish for you, your family and of course for Luke's family - deep peace and healing during this sad time.

What gorgeous photos you posted up. I'm sure you will forever treasure those happy memories of what sounded like a truly remarkable man.

Many gentle hugs & prayers.

debi said...

I am so sorry for the loss and sorrow your family and you are feeling. He sounds like a very special man. I will be praying for you all .

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your family and the wonderful young man who was lost. I know how deeply it must hurt.

I wish you peace as you come to grips with this tragedy.

{{{hugs}}}

Jan

Shelly said...

I will keep your family and Luke's family in my prayers.....

The Ritzmanns said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of such a good person. I will be thinking of you and your family along with Luke's family.

Amy...who wanted 4. said...

Heartbreaking.
What a beautiful post...I almost feel like I knew him too.
Keeping ya'll in prayer.

Lisa (DanielsMommy) said...

How tragic and heartbreaking. I am so very sorry for you and your families loss. What an amazing man Luke was and I am so glad you opened your home to him and was able to share some wonderful experiences. Many prayers for your family and for his during this most tragic and difficult time.

mom2four said...

Small world. Apparently my brother knew him too and the loss hit him a bit hard as well. Though I didn't know who he was I've been praying for his family when I read the news from my brother.....prayers for you all too.

Anonymous said...

How painful this news is. He seemed to have blessed your family and so many others while he was here. Sort of like an angel in your presence for a specific time. My prayers go out to his family and all of his friends who were touched with this tragedy. Love you you all, Aunt Sharon

Justine said...

I'm in tears. Thank you for this beautiful tribute. I hope his family reads it.

Linda said...

Luke is the nephew of good friends of ours. We just heard the news on Sunday...has to be the same boy. I know the family has been rocked. God hold them in the palm of his hand!

April said...

Luke sounds like an amazing young man. What a lot of wonderful memories you all have. I am so terribly sorry for everyone's loss.

Larsen Family said...

Sorry for your loss.

June Berger said...

Sorry for the loss of such a Godly young man in your life and that of your children. Praying for comfort for you all, as well as Luke's family and friends. Rejoicing for him that he is now with his Lord and Savior

Koen Family said...

Urban Family, we share with you your loss. Luke must have felt such a part of your family because of your love. May we rejoice in knowing that we see him again one day.

G said...

Oh I am so sorry. I remember him from long ago when I read your blog . Many prayers out to his family.

Anonymous said...

I am a cousin of Luke's from South Dakota. Angel posted your blog on facebook and it is so moving. I wish that I would have gotten to know Luke better!