A call from my youngest brother Jason the other day left me in tears. A sweet voice trying to be strong as he gave me the news of one his best friends passing. Days of visiting Justin in the hospital, holding his hand, and talking to him…came to an end. His funeral today, and expected crowd of over 4000 people…he touched so many lives, even mine.
Justin Whitaker, passed from non-Hodgkin’s T-cell lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the immune system at the age of 18. For the last several years he had been in and out of the hospital…everyone hoping and holding on for good news that he was getting better. Fundraiser after fundraiser the community pulled together to raise money, its truly amazing what these people, including my family, have done to support and help out Justin and his father.
As I began talking to Jason, I found myself searching for the right words, the best words to try and help him cope. But there are no right words, there is no reason that you can justify why this happened to such an amazing kid. Time I told him, it will just take time. Always remember him for the great person he was, the times you shared on the baseball field, and his strength.
The following night under the lights, the varsity baseball team gathered around Jason as he said, ” Play for Justin tonight.”