Monday, March 19, 2007


It was ten years ago this week that we had just started refinishing Miranda's bedroom furniture. It was Spring Break and we were in for a busy week. But at 4:30 that Tuesday morning we awoke to a phone call from my sister-in-law Debbie, saying that my sister Kathy's 19 year old son Noel had been in a serious basketball accident the night before. (He was on a city league team) Noel would be going into surgery to have a portion of his brain removed to relieve the pressure. We were stunned. Not our Noel.
I wasn't planning on going to Bible Study that morning because of Spring Break, but I immediately sat down and did my Philippians study. I was desperate for the Lord's peace, for His comfort. And the study just happened to be about God knowing the numbers of our days. I was filled with such a peace knowing God was in control. I could trust Him. They put Noel in a medically induced coma after the surgery and for the next 5 days we waited, we cried, we prayed... but Noel did not survive. He died Saturday, March 22nd, 1997.

Noel had graduated the year before in Oklahoma, with plans to move to Wisconsin. As much as he'd miss his Mom, his older brother Aaron and his younger sister Kristen, he always dreamed of taking off after graduation and staying with his Aunt Ginny and Uncle Dave in Wisconsin. You see Noel loved the family farm in Wisconsin. He loved his Grandpa & Grandma Larson and hanging out with his uncles Gary, Ron & Kevin. My sister Kathy and Noel's Dad divorced when Noel was two. So the men in Noel's life meant so much to him.
Noel was a runner. He excelled in football, basketball and track throughout his high school years. He loved decorating for Christmas. He made the best waffles. He was so handsome and had a smile that lit up the room. Noel loved the Lord and always wanted to do the right thing. My sister Kathy did such a great job raising her kids by herself. Noel loved and cared for his family. He would have been the best uncle to his nieces and nephews... just the best uncle ever.

We planted this Texas Mountain Laurel nine years ago in memory of Noel. It's always in full bloom at this time of year and fills the air with the sweetest scent... like cotton candy... reminding us of our sweet Noel, who will be forever missed.


NanAZ said...

What a beautiful tribute to your nephew and what a beautiful bit of God's creation to help you remember him during these months.

Unknown said...

God bless you all, Linda. It's obvious that he made an impact on your life.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing so nice to know that people remember him and talk about him. He is so missed! The flowers are beautiful!
love ya!

Lovella ♥ said...

That was a beautiful tribute to your nephew Noel.
It made me realize again how on days that we are having fun and joking about with friends, someone else is silently remembering someone very loved and missed.

The year that my father-in-law passed away we were given a Magnolia tree in his honour and we uprooted it and brought it with us to the farm to plant and remember. Every year it blooms at the perfect time of our remembering.

The flowers are beautiful and now we also know about Noel and what a wonderful young man he was.

Greg C said...

What a touching story. I will remember to give my boys an extra big hug tonight when I see them. Thank you so much for sharing.


Michelle Legler said...

This story just broke my heart. I'm so glad you shared it. No parent should have to say goodbye to their child this way. I'm so glad you planted the tree in his memory.....very, very touching.

Nancy said...

The flowering plant is such a beautiful way to keep Noel's memory alive. Thank you for sharing your story about a very special young man that impacted so many with his short life... and he still does, now that you blessed us (your readers) with his life story.

LA said...

I love that you planted something in his honor and that it blooms in rememberance. I enjoyed hearing a bit about such a wonderful young man. It was a lovely tribute.

LostRoses said...

A lovely tribute to a fine young man. This mirrors our story two years ago with a dear 15-year-old nephew. I imagine a special gathering place in heaven for all these young people taken before their time.

Forever missed indeed.