Her closest friends were there, and they, too, cried for Caroline. A number of them had been with her just days before, on Super Bowl Sunday, both to watch the game and to celebrate the 36th birthday of one of their own. These were friends who had met in high school or college, and 15, 20 years later were still close, most of them now married, and with children of their own.
It was mayhem in that house that day. Children seemingly everywhere, all young, the oldest almost 7, and the youngest but two weeks old. That was Caroline's new daughter, (Caroline) Greer. There were smiles and there was laughter, with children chasing children, parents chasing children, and occasionally, a child chasing a grandparent. It was glorious cacophony, and yet, in that house, some knew the story and were worried.
Now they were all in that church, praying for her soul, praying for her children, still trying to make sense of the tragedy -- crushed. Caroline's husband, Justin, steeled himself to deliver the heart-wrenching eulogy, while his oldest son, Brock, just 6 years old, stood by his side for strength.
The parents of Caroline's friends were there, and they cried as well. Some hadn't known her condition. One had taken her aside at that Super Bowl party to tell her that her baby was about the loveliest child he'd ever seen, and then remarking on Caroline's own beauty, he said she, too, looked radiant. That man's wife was more perceptive. She knew the story, and she was concerned. She had found Caroline gaunt and tired, no matter how much she smiled. "Take care of yourself," she advised Caroline. You need your rest. You have a new baby to feed.
Caroline's three children were at the church. At 6, Brock was old enough to be given the news but too young to understand it, so his father offered an explanation surely crafted with the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit. Justin told his boy that the firemen had gone upstairs and found his Mom talking to God. God was asking her to go with Him to heaven, and she needed to do His bidding. She asked God if she might still be able to send her love to her children. God replied that she could always talk to her children. "Your mother is still here," Brock's father explained to his little boy. "You just can't see her."
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