Broken, shattered, splintered, smashed, disintegrated, destroyed – my exploded world on November 17 last year when my son USMC Major Luke Parker died in a plane crash at age 37.
A newspaper reporter interviewed me about my newest Christian mystery-romance-suspense book, Bridge Beyond Betrayal. “I see that the book is dedicated to your son and includes the prophetic poem he wrote a year before his death. You seem to have been close to your son. How did you get over losing him?” she asked.
I haven’t. I didn’t. I won’t. Memories play over in my mind like a DVD with no off switch. His smile. He always had a smile – even in photos his buddies took of him in war zones.
His faith; praying for a truck as a four-year-old because we were without transportation and I lacked enough faith to pray – the Lord gave us a truck the next day. The time the truck got stranded in the Nevada desert and Luke prayed, then insisted that the man who came out of nowhere to help us was an angel. I disputed that. Until we attempted to take a thank you card and some home-baked cookies to our rescuer. We never found him, nor did we find a house, a driveway, or even a dirt trail that explained how he had reached us.
His kindness. Luke’s animal rescues included a one-legged raven; a three-legged dog; a one-eyed possum; and a mentally challenged possum that lived in the closet and used a litter box because it wasn’t smart enough to figure out how to get out the open door. His people rescues. The way Luke stood up to bigger and older students who bullied younger students.
His determination. From starting out in life with hearing loss, a speech impediment and learning disabilities, Luke went on to learn and excel at everything that he wanted to do; playing a trumpet, playing a piano, scuba diving, rock climbing, training horses, flying airplanes, restoring WWII jeeps. He got a college degree in spite of his weakness in math. He went into the US Marine Corps as enlisted and worked his way up to major.
I’m most proud of Luke because his men in Iraq wrote in the newsletter that they respected his Christian example and added, “No matter what we do, we can’t make Captain Parker curse – not even when we hide his gun.”
I’m most proud of Luke for refusing to drink with other recruits in basic training. Already drunk, they threatened him with a knife. He crawled into his bunk, pulled the sheet over his head and ignored them. When he woke up in the morning, his mattress was slashed all around his body.
I’m most proud of Luke for the worn, highlighted, underlined Bible that went everywhere with him.
I’m most proud of my son for walking with God. And because he walked with God, I know he is not dead. He left the USMC to report to duty in Heaven under his Commander for all eternity – Jesus.
So, no, newspaper lady – I’m not over losing my wonderful son. But I will not sorrow like those with no hope because I know Luke lives still and I will see him again. Jesus is in the business of fixing the broken and restoring wholeness to shattered lives and hearts.