By Kim Roberts
Having spent the past 12 years writing a weekly column for The Time Picayune, I have had the opportunity to meet many fabulous people and write stories about the community residents.
Once in a while, one of those stories touch you deeply in your soul.
Every July, I am reminded of a column I wrote about Kendall Springman, a 6-year-old who was my youngest daughter’s classmate at St. Matthew the Apostle in River Ridge. He succumbed to cancer.
I remember, when this sweet child passed after a fearless battle with this disease, it was devastating. I kept thinking; how does this family go on?
I vividly remember attending the funeral, and my heart literally aching for his parents. I also remember having to explain to my 6-year-old daughter that her friend would not be back at school that year.
I know that my task was nothing compared to what the Springman family was enduring, but I still dreaded breaking this sad news to my daughter.
I told her that Kendall’s body could not fight the cancer any longer, that the pain he was in constantly had become too much for him, and that God did not want him to suffer any longer on Earth, so he called him to be an angel in heaven.
I was not sure that she totally understood what I was telling her since she thought that he would still be able to start first grade with his class.
Then she said, “Wait a second, since he is in heaven, he can probably run and fly and play ‘Star Wars,’ and I bet he has a really cool light saber that you can only have in heaven. I am sure he is having so much fun and is so happy to be able to run around and not hurt anymore.”
It is hard explaining death to a young child, you never quite know the right words to say, I prayed that God would send me the right words when I needed them. And, he did.
Every year, since his passing in 2011, his family has kept his memory alive through a blood drive held at St. Matthew on a date near his birthday (July 12) and the day he passed (July 31).
This year, the drive is July 28th
7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
10021 Jefferson Hwy., River Ridge