One of the sweetest little boys I've ever known passed away yesterday. Charlie (Alex) Sandstrom was a little boy so full of life and joy. He was always trying to give you something, whether it was his new toy, or some his special "origami." He loved to put smiles on others faces and he usually had one on his. He was always trying to negotiate, even if he wanted what was offered. I can hear his little voice saying "How bout this?"
It is AMAZING to me that a little boy who had been through so much could be so sweet and loving. For those who don't know, I first met Charlie when I was his younger brother Jo's daycare teacher. When I heard that DCS would be splitting up Jo, Charlie, and their older brother Sidney, It broke my heart and I told my parents about it. My wonderful mom and dad took these boys in to keep them together. After years in and out of state custody and in and out of foster homes, they'd found a real home. These little boys were such a joy to my family.
A few years ago, They found their mom and dad. It had a been a long, hard road, especially for three little boys, but they were troopers and waited patiently for their parents. When they all found each other, you couldn't help but notice a change in the boys. They immediately loved their mom and dad. It wasn't easy for their parents either. After years of abuse, both by parents, grandparents and DCS, the boys had their issues. But their new mom and dad have worked with them and loved them with all their hearts. There are no better behaved boys anywhere. There are no cuter little men anywhere.
These boys have touched SO many lives. For me personally, they were my first glimpse of what a parent feels. I'm SO very proud to call them my brothers. I'm grateful my little girls have got such great uncles. I'm grateful I had any part in their lives, and I'm humbled to have had anypart of these little angels.
It is a very sad day here without Charlie, but I know he's with his Heavenly Father. He's in a place where no one can ever hurt him again. He's in a place where he can watch over and protect his brothers.
Our hearts go out to Charlie's parents. Our thoughts, prayers, and tears are with you. Tomorrow, Chris and I will be fasting for Charlie's mom and dad and brothers. I would appreciate it if y'all would keep them in your thoughts and prayers also.
On a Much happier note, We've got a new nephew. Our new nephew Cole Thatcher Neely was born this afternoon weighing 8lbs, 10oz and is 20 inches long. He's a cutie. And we're so glad he's here now. :)
It's been a rough day, going from one extreme to the other emotionally. But it only strengthens my testimony of my Father in Heaven and his love and plan for us. I'm so grateful to have the gospel in my life at times like these. It truly is a great blessing.
****Just a note, Charlie was in an accident on a farm. He wasn't sick. It is a Terrible Tragedy. It's been on both channel 4 and 5 news. He's one of the two children who died in rutherford county on memorial day.