And Then There Were Two of Us…

Normally, you have come to expect an upbeat post to arrive in your mailbox as you live life with the Toussaint family. But the truth of the matter is that I really don’t feel like writing this evening.

That’s because Doug and I lost our youngest brother, Ken, yesterday – and we are both trying to process this unexpected and sudden event. Ken, our youngest brother, was admitted to a hospital last Sunday and it was determined that he had a host of medical problems. Things looked treatable but early yesterday morning, things took a turn for the worse and I headed up to Peoria, IL to meet Doug and discuss treatment options for Ken. When I arrived, things looked rather bleak.

Ken was in room 4004 in the medical ICU. After speaking with Doug, and observing Ken’s medical state, Doug and I, as brothers, made the decision to make him as comfortable as possible, realizing that his heart was giving out and that he was being artificially supported by drugs and interventions. To sum things up, an hour or so later, Ken passed away and was pronounced at 12:48 p.m. To say this was sad is an understatement.

Clearly, it is the first time that death has touched our nuclear family in my generation. Grandparents and parents are expected, but siblings don’t fit into the paradigm. Doug and I were both there at the end – and I will fill you in when I can wrap my brain around the whole experience.

Suffice it to say that Doug and I are both dealing with this difficult loss. Janet and I have been blessed with great children and they have been terrific in providing emotional and family support for me. The same can be said for Doug’s support through this trial by his family here near Chicago.

So please understand my decision to put off a regular post until later in the week. However, I would like to ask for prayer. As the oldest child, much of this has fallen to me and I freely admit that I am suffering with anxiety and have prayed for peace – to a large extent, that still eludes me. I want to sleep through the night – not worrying about the choices I have made and wondering whether we did everything that we could do. And it’s worse that I am not at home with Janet and near the rest of the family – I always believe that there’s no place like home!

My verse for this evening is from Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

My encouragement this evening is that God desires for us to be peaceful and in communion with Him. My prayer, a selfish one, is that I can find peace in all this. Furthermore, that I won’t suffer such anxiety as I bring my concerns to the Lord.

So… maybe I will be ready to write again Thursday. In the meantime, thank you for your prayers and understanding; and have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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