To give you a little background, my husband Todd and I have been married for 24 years. We dated for close to 9 years before we married. So in other words, I have been around my husband’s family for quite some time. I love his family with all my heart which may seem foreign to some.
Randall was my husband’s oldest brother. You could not ask for two brothers to be much closer than they were despite a 10-year difference in age. When my husband was just a little boy he would go everywhere with his big brother. As their father worked third shift and their mother worked second shift, Randall cared for his little brother. Fast forward to when I first met Randall, he was getting ready to marry his wife, Jennifer. I recall seeing him all dressed up after their rehearsal dinner and he could not have been more handsome. They went on to have 4 beautiful children.
Life was not easy for Randall at times. He was an airplane mechanic and the airlines moved his home terminal base several times. Being who Randall was, he never asked his family to move away from their home. He would fly to work in a different state and then fly back home after his shift was over for many years. At one point he rented an apartment with other co-workers in Boston and would fly home for his days off.
Randall was diagnosed with Throat Cancer, which ironically, he never smoked or chewed tobacco. He underwent Chemotherapy and radiation. During this time, he of course lost his hair and most of his teeth. His Port -A-Cath site became infected and had to be removed. He was a fighter and with his life covered by prayer he won the battle against Cancer.
I will never forget one day while I was at work, my husband called distraught that Randall had been in a severe car accident. He was in Critical Care at a local Trauma Center. After sustaining multiple injuries, he was able to recover.
Years after Randall had already beaten Cancer and survived a terrible car accident, he was told that he had a heart blockage. He had a stent put in his heart and was told that they would continue to monitor his heart, but they felt the Stent placement had been successful. While talking to him one day he told me that he must have 9 lives so he was good to go for 6 more life’s. You see, during all these hard paths that he had to travel, he kept on going despite how hard it was. I think that the love he had for family and friends is what kept him trekking on. A few weeks later, prior to his youngest daughter graduating from High School and weeks after his oldest daughter was married, God decided that Randall had trekked down enough paths and called him home.
We all have to walk down paths that are rough, sometimes dark, and we don’t think that we have the strength to make it to the end…..but we can! We also can help lead others down their path, carry them down their path, or simply wait at the end of their path cheering for them as they travel. As I write this blog post, all of the United States is fighting COVID-19. Whether it is Cancer, trauma, COVID-19, or any other illness we have to have encouraging words for one another. That is the beauty in human relationships. You will notice that the Randall Design has a beautiful path to travel down. I personally feel if we can somehow change our view our struggles from grim to beautiful that is what the world needs more of. No not every path is beautiful but the way we care for each other can be. Why won’t you share this path with someone who needs it today?
Randall, my dear brother-in-law, you are missed so much. I know your paths were never easy on earth but somehow you left us knowing that the paths you are walking on in heaven today are some of the easiest you have ever traveled.