Gregory David De Garmo
Today, we remember our youngest child, Gregory, who went to be with the Lord one year ago. In the past year, we have experienced the grace of God in large doses. There is no other way to express it: Losing a child hurts—a lot. But the presence of God has sustained us, the Word of God has encouraged us, and the people of God have embraced us.
Gregory was born with lissencephaly, a congenital malformation of the brain. This condition left him profoundly developmentally delayed. He was twenty years old. After his passing, we received scores of wonderful expressions, one from a missionary friend who recalled how much that a young man who never spoke taught the people that he touched.
God shaped our family to care for Gregory. Our daughters are amazing. Truly precious was the relationship that Kristin and Stacey shared with their “little brother.” People have said nice things about us. But we deserve no praise; we are not perfect people. We did not manage every difficulty with aplomb. I confess to more than one pity party and an occasional grumble. If anyone deserves praise, it is Ruth. Her unflagging devotion and apparently endless energy that she extended to her son are difficult to describe. She served him endlessly without one word of complaint. That is love.
God shaped me through Gregory. The shape of his mold is love, and I aim to live the rest of my life with a Gregory-shaped heart. Today, I remember Gregory. I miss him sitting beside me in his wheelchair, but I am glad to know that he is with the Lord.
One year later, my reflections are quite simple. God asked us to love a very special boy, to care for him until his room in the Father’s house was ready. It was our joy.
David L. DeGarmo (D. Min.) serves Global University as Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Theology. Along with his wife Ruth, he is also a U.S. Missionary. He has extensive experience as an educator, missionary, and pastor.
David writes an additional blog on a variety of topics. Check it out...