Monday, April 4, 2011

Begging - yes begging - for your prayers for this dear priest.

Please pray for Father Larkin, that he will have a happy death. I met Fr. Larkin when I spoke at his parish in Lawton, OK a few years ago. About a year ago, he was diagnosed with a stage four brain tumor. God gave us a wonderful, vibrant priest who loves Jesus Christ dearly, and it is certain that this same Jesus Christ who called Fr. Larkin to the priesthood is now calling him home. I am posting what his brother wrote last night on his CaringBridge page, because I'm begging you to enter into the gathering of prayer warriors who are praying for him now.

It's been a tough week in many ways, but a blessed week in many ways as well.

Kirk has entered into what the hospice nurse has described as the "little boy" segment of his journey in that his computational abilities are akin to someone in the 5-6 year old range.

Hence, the "tough" and the "blessed" aspects of our time together.  He remembers most folks quickly, but may forget they are there after a while. One afternoon, he spent nearly three hours just playing with a very nice wooden truck our cousin from CA had made for him. ( I have to admit, I spent some time playing with it too. Good job, Steve!) Yesterday, he seemed to be enthralled with a list of names mom had printed off (I think it was of folks who have sent something to Kirk) and he poured over that list with a pen for hours and hours.  We don't know exactly what he was gleaning from this scrutiny, but it was intense nonetheless.  As of late, he has been watching alot of EWTN, especially during the beautiful Masses celebrated down in Irondale, as well as the Golf Channel.  He also goes on tangents where he blesses just about everything in sight at times, and if you happen to be sitting at the table with him, you know sooner or later he is going to say "Ok, let's pray" and we say grace whether we are fixin to eat or not!  Today, he was very intent on praying his rosary, but as little boys are want to do, he would give it a good lasso spin in the air every once in a while I guess to keep the beads nice and cool (haha!). Every so often he will come up with a real zinger that tells us he still has more capacity than we know, and then again he will sometimes spend the better part of the morning or afternoon not communicating much  at all.

This has all been pretty hard on mom.  Even though everyone has been doing their part as best they can, (especially Louis and Casimira trekking up from Dallas each weekend and us three other local children) she is the "helper of last resort" and has to be aware of his needs 24/7.  This is where the tough parts and the blessings come together.  He is very, very sweet to mom and will tell her he loves her probably 5-10 times an hour, if not more, but then again, she has to direct his actions at times when he has different ideas.  She has the patience of Job!  She also knows alot of folks are praying for her so this helps keep her tank full in spite of the daily grind.  If it gets too tough on her, we know we always have hospice to fall back on for additional help and that will probably be something that figures in more prominently as time marches on.

Well, that's all I know to report.  We know how emotionally invested so many people are in Fr. Kirk's journey and our family feels a convivial and pleasant obligation to keep everyone informed.  By reading the posts, I think we are all becoming more and more of an extended family.  And Kirk would really like to know that is happening despite the sorrow of his illness.

We take the time to comment on the postings and he is always glad to know of them.  He especially likes to know how families have been affected by his ministry and really got a big kick out of the story about the dream of him blessing so many Boy Scouts.  Good stuff all!  


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