My nephew, Justin Smith, and his wife, Lisa, spent last weekend unpacking into their new home, a beautiful stone showplace on a corner lot in a nice part of Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was the "forever" home of their dreams. Sadly, tragedy struck the young family just a few days later - before the boxes were even empty.
On Monday evening their little daughter, Landry, suddenly became so ill that her parents rushed her to a local emergency room. To everyone's shock and horror the youngster passed away in the early morning darkness of Tuesday. She was just sixteen-months-old.
The next day, Wednesday, September 28th, Landry's only sibling, her older brother Graham, turned five.
Last night there was an emotional visitation for little Landry at a funeral home in Fayetteville. Family and friends hugged and cried and thought of the Smith family as a slide show of happier times played above her small, open casket. The funeral was this morning at the Main Street Baptist Church in Farmington, Arkansas, followed by burial at the Farmington Cemetery. Two pallbearers, Landry's uncles, Reed Smith and Jason Morgan, brought the casket to the graveside.
As another uncle told me at the cemetery, it's just wrong when a casket is so small that it can be handled by two pallbearers.
And it is just so wrong when a child dies - and so very, very heartbreakingly sad.
Rest in peace, Beautiful Child.