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We canceled chapel and brought the students together for a time of reflection and grieving. We are hosting numerous small groups during the week to assist the students in dealing with this tragic loss. Marcus’ mother told me that she was so thankful for the “Skittles guy” but did not know who this person was. What she did know is that Marcus had made a significant commitment to Christ as a result of the “skittles guy.” The skittles guy is Brian Classen, the pastor at Papillion NE who was our spiritual emphasis week speaker this fall. He had used a package of skittles to illustrate his point. Marcus had gotten the point, made a commitment which resulted in a change, and now is with the one to whom he committed his life. We do not have answers to the questions we all have, but we do have hope. Hope in the only one who has conquered death… Jesus Christ.
I called him to come back in to finalize some paperwork and we spent another hour visiting about his trip to Europe (Venice in particular). He brought his masks into our office so that my husband and I could see them. Once again, I was so drawn to his enthusiasm and found myself looking forward to our next visit. I joked afterward with some of our staff about my being the “mother figure”. It was great. I do not find alot of opportunities to visit with young people who really enjoy sharing themselves like Marcus did.
Monday morning I noticed that the cruise tickets for Marcus and friend, Jason Pearson, were in my drawer and that Marcus would call Monday or Tuesday to set up a time to come in Tuesday to go over the tickets. I could not wait to see this young man again. I was going to bring the mask we had bought in Venice last August to the office the next day for him to see. I would block off plenty of time for more conversation about “whatever”. I have a 35 yr old son. His name is Patrick and it hit me hard when I learned that was Marcus’ middle name. WOW! I hurt for his family and feel a little sorry for myself at the same time. I am always saying “Life is too short”. In fact that is one of the things Marcus and I talked about during his last visit. He wanted to experience as much as he could and see as much as he could before it was too late.
We were meant to have the TV News on Monday evening to the right channel to hear what had happened and are deeply saddened to know that his face will not brighten our office again. I find myself in an awkward place. I do not know Jason Pearson or have a phone number or address for him. I need to know what to do about this cruise and need Jason or Marcus parents to contact me to discuss this. This is one avenue provided to me to reach them. Sharon Bye, Owner – Cruise Holidays of Wichita, 214 S Rock Rd Suite 109, Wichita KS 67207 316-686-2900 800-624-4889 firstname.lastname@example.org