It’s with a heavy heart that I write this blog. While enjoying the pursuit of the elusive and wile whitetail at my cabin, I received a phone call concerning an old friends son being killed in an auto accident. As the snow came down in huge white flakes I gathered my stuff for the 4 hour drive home. The joy of the hunt had vanished, and all I could think about was the overwhelming sorrow that Bob and Linda Baltrip were experiencing right now. Bob is the Pastor of Liberty Missionary Baptist Church in Monroe. He and his wife Linda were in our wedding. We camped, hunted, and worked together. I introduced Bob to the joys of bowhunting. We watched the transformation of their lives, as Bob gave his “heart” to the Lord, and never turned back, as he sought to do His will. He was instrumental in my own quest for getting “right” with God. My thinking was “If God could change my pal Bob, then there was hope for me!”
Dr. Douglas Baltrip was their first and only son. He was respected and well liked in the community, as he ran his “Eye Care One” Optometrist office. He was a good dad to his two children Colton and Emma, and his stepchildren Banyon and Brooklyn. He had so much to live for. Strange how life can change in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. One minute your going to help your son do some work on his barn, and the next your planning his funeral! Every parents worst nightmare is to have to lay to rest one of their children. I Peter 1:24 says “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall.”
It is at times like this when you realize that life is so temporary, we are all going to die someday. Some will leave this earth much sooner than others, but leave we will. Some will have time to prepare themselves and their families for this departure, but others (like Doug) will not get the chance for last goodbyes, and the embrace of loved ones. Our hearts break for the whole Baltrip family. Linda’s arms must ache for her dear son. Doug and his sister Kelly were very close. Kelly worked in Doug’s office, and was around her brother alot. Bob was a good father, and tried to steer his son in the right direction with his life. He was always available to help when Doug needed a hand with anything.
The funeral will be this coming Monday. Life is forever changed for the Baltrip clan including Grandma Elsie Baltrip. Please keep them in your prayers, and remember the brevity of life. Hug your kids, spouse, mother, father, grandparents, friends, and all those who are dear to you. Tell them how much you love them, and how important they are to you. You never know when that “flower” is going to fall to the earth. Drink in “it’s” presence while you can.