I loved my in-laws. Dwayne and Ruth were just good people who raised good people.

Let me tell you about my first serious conversation with the woman who would be my mother-in-law.  You may think it would be about me dating her only daughter, but it wasn’t.

It was about Joey.  

Joey Lynn Heffington was born April 28, 1969 as the youngest of four kids and was a perfectly normal baby boy.  When he was still a baby, barely a toddler, Joey contracted meningitis. Meningitis is an infection that caused Joey to have severe inflammation of his brain. A terrible story made short, after a long hospital stay, and brain surgery Joey was able to operate at about the level of a one-year old for the remainder of his life. 

So, Ruth tells me the story about Joey and watches me for my reaction.  I guess I gave the right one, because Ruth and I got on pretty good from that point forward. I think I passed a test that day in her eyes.

Joey lived most of his life at the Conway Human Development Center where he received around the clock care.  He had some pretty serious health issues throughout his life, and would have to take trips to the hospital from time to time.

Joey survived Covid-19 in the Summer of 2020.  However, he passed on unexpectedly during the night of his 52nd birthday on April, 28 2021.

Now comes the “God details” of this story. Because of Covid-19, Debbie had not been able to go see Joey for a little over a year.  However, this year she was able to go see Joey on his birthday and bring him a little toy. He passed that same night just a few hours later.  Debbie got to see her little brother one last time after a year of not being able to lay eyes on him.  I am not a big believer in coincidence. I think my wife was given a gift when she thought she was on her way to bring her little brother a gift.

I believe Joey is with his mom and dad now. Whole again. Praise God.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18