Thank You Morgan

Every once in a while someone will do something to redeem my faith in humankind.

Occasionally people surprise me.

About a month ago an entire city – no county – surprised me.

I wrote a post in the beginning of June mentioning my father in law and his serious health condition. You can read about that here. We almost lost him.

He suffered an aortic valve rupture and several strokes while on a trip to California. After hearing the news, my husband and I packed our three boys into our van and drove to be with him.

We spent a week in California taking turns at his ICU bedside. He made slow, gradual progress. He started out sleeping with a breathing tube and ventilator. By the time we left he was opening his eyes for short periods and nodding “yes” and shaking his head “no.”

After we came home he continued to progress dramatically. He was taken off the breathing machine and moved to a rehab center.

He was working hard to regain his strength and his abilities.
But he wasn’t the only one working hard.

During the month and a half that he was in California the people of his hometown were also working hard. They were preparing for a major fund-raising event.

On July 12 residents from all over the county packed into the Morgan Riverside Park for the Keven Clemens family fundraiser.

It was amazing. It was unlike any fundraiser I have been to.

The park was swarming with people. Many of which had to park blocks away.


There was crazy photo taking, face painting and carnival games for kids. There were pulled-pork dinners, soda pops and treats. There was a silent auction and a magic show. Which, by the way, my boys LOVED. (They have been trying magic tricks ever since.)

People waited in long lines to purchase dinner. Kids waited in long lines to toss a beanbag into a poster or cast their reel into a “fishing” pond. Families spent the entire evening weaving through the park participating in dozens of activities that were geared to raising money for my family.

All the food, prizes and time were donated. All the proceeds went to my father and mother-in-law.

Thousands of people came by to donate to my family – to give back to my father in law. A man who has dedicated his life to serving those around him.

I have no doubt that most of the people who came to the park that night have been impacted by my father-in-law. From various church callings to many, many baseball teams, he has helped his community and given to others.

I couldn’t pull my husband away from all of the people who wanted to express their concern and love for his father.

The night ended with a slideshow tribute to my father-in-law. I left the park late that night filled with more love in my heart than I have had in there in a long time.

I felt peace because I knew that no matter how hard his recovery my father-in-law was in good hands. His friends, neighbors and congregation members were going to take good care of him.

And that is what they have done.

My father-in-law has made a miraculously recovery. He is walking, talking and reading. He and my mother-in-law have worked extremely hard to get him to where he is and each time I see him I am amazed at how “normal” he has become. IMG_20130803_205347

I know he has been buoyed up by those around him.

So I would like to thank anyone involved with helping my family. I know few of your faces and even fewer of your names yet I cherish your sacrifice and selflessness. Thank you for taking the time to make such a horrible thing seem bearable.

Thank you for taking care of the man who, for the past 10 years, has helped take care of me. The man who was there for my wedding and the birth of my babies. The man who wrapped his arm around me after dedicating my baby’s grave. The man who taught my husband to throw a baseball, mow a lawn and respect a woman.

The man my boys call “papa.” The man they love to sit and watch Bugs Bunny cartoons with.

Thank you for reminding me that people are good. That they want to help one another through the bitter, lonely, scared-out-of-your-mind times in life. That we don’t have to go through this journey alone.

Thank you Morgan. Thank you.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michelle
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 08:36:18

    Wow! This made me tear up. What a wonderful community! Glad your Father in Law is on the mend.


  2. Yudy Stevens
    Aug 24, 2013 @ 17:48:44

    Love this story. The love of you community and the love you feel for your father-in law. I felt that love through you. Blessing to you and your family


  3. Anonymous
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 22:45:56

    Thanks so much for posting this. I was serving and did not get a chance to see much. You are so blessed to have such a wonderful man in your lives.


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