Craig with his aunt Christine.
I was going to write about my 60’s in one post, but I can see that isn’t going to happen. I felt I left out a lot about my grandson and his relationship with God in my last post about him, so I’m going to write about that today. When I sit down to write, I’m never sure what will end up on the page. I hope Craig’s story will help someone.
When I was 61, my beloved grandson, Craig, died. When Craig was a teenager, he told me he was an atheist. His step-father was one and he thought that was right. We talked about that a bit and over the years he came to believe there was a God.
Craig was in mental pain most of the time. His biological father had died of a drug overdose. Craig had never gotten to really know him and his death was devastating for him. He had hoped one day to connect with him and have a relationship. He and his brother started doing drugs and getting into trouble with the police. It was a very sad time for all of us. He once got in trouble with a gang who threatened to kill him. One day, I had to wash his blood out of his new winter jacket because they had beaten him. He was in fights a lot. He had a lot of anger inside. He went to jail and had a trial in Vancouver when he hurt someone badly in a fight. He was found not guilty though, because he hadn’t started it.
When he moved to Kelowna, he used to come over and talk with me about his life. He said he had so many regrets. We talked about God. He thought God could not love someone like him, but I told him God loved him even more than I did. He gradually began praying. He went to visit his step-father, who had not been a good father to him. They had long talks and the rift was mended. He went to visit his real father’s ex-wife and his two half-siblings. They all loved Craig. Then he came home, and there was another trial because he was in a fight at a party in Kelowna. He knew we were praying for him. He was also praying. He wanted to be a better person and told us he would like to go to schools and warn teens about drugs. But he was still doing drugs himself.
At his trial, he was found innocent again because it was a free-for-all fight, but he was put on probation. If he did one wrong thing, he would go to jail for a year. When I heard that, I knew he would probably not be able to be good for a year and he would be going to a prison up north. After the trial, Craig was happy and the last thing he said to us was, “Thank you for praying for me.”
That night, he was at a party and drank too much. He passed out face down on a soft sofa and smothered. The coroner said he had seen many teen boys who died this way. Their bodies are too much asleep to turn over and breathe.
Of course, the whole family was in terrible mourning. My daughters, his cousins – just everyone. But we did all believe he was saved because he had been praying and talking about God. I know I will see him again. That hope is what kept me going, plus the peace of God that came upon me. The Lord is a great comforter. I believe he took Craig, because life was just too hard for him. I said to someone, “I’ve been praying for that boy since the day he was born. I know the Lord has saved Craig from something worse that was going to happen.” I still believe that.
After the funeral, a friend of his wrote on his memorial page, “You taught us the meaning of unconditional love.” Many, many young people came to the funeral and we were comforted by their stories of how Craig had helped them. Even kids from his elementary school came and told us of Craig’s kindness. We were actually stunned at how many people he had helped during his short life. He was 21 when he died.
Okay, this was going to be about my big mistakes when I was in my 60’s, but I think I will do that next time. I just want to praise and thank God for giving Craig to us for the years he was here. I want to thank Him for taking Craig to himself where he can finally be at peace.
Craig, with his father, Gerard.