It’s been nearly a year. And to be honest, I’m finding that this past month is bringing up so many memories of the great times that we spent with our friend Michael Einfeldt. Two years ago before he started college, Michael was with us in the City on the first Sunday of December handing out lunches and warm winter clothing.
When he was in High School, he was always at our EBCYG Christmas Parties. It’s actually where we met him for the first time, years before.
The last year he attended, he stood up front as a leader and we were so thankful for his willingness to help out on our team.
Michael was a big part of the ESM Stuff a School. When we went to pick up the items for Eastport Bible Church his Senior year, he was there in his red tie with his awesome Michael smile. He was playing Christmas songs with the band and it was so good to see him. I remember going over to give him a hug, but getting stopped by the security guard because apparently random people can’t just come into the school whenever they want. It was totally fine and made me thankful for those who watch out for our kids. I did get to take a picture from a distance, so that was good.
Michael joined us for our annual Jingle Bowl flag football game. He was there both the year that it rained…
And last year as well. He told me that morning how he was going to start working out to get in better shape.
Michael came to Living Room the week before his accident too. He was always an important part of that Small Group ministry and we always loved having him there.
Last year, we also got to see Michael when we hosted our first 50 Year Four Square Tournament. We had invited many of our past and present students to come.
That night we got to spent time with all of the Einfeldts and it was delightful. So much that I gathered them together for a group picture. Because goodness knows, I love a good sibling group picture.
The last time we would see Michael before his accident was at Youth Group on Thursday. Jeremy actually spent the hour before just with him. We were supposed to practice for a skit that we were doing that Sunday that Michael was in. But I had taken Christian to an eye doctor appointment that went late, so it just ended up being Jeremy and Michael hanging out during that time.
I didn’t really get to talk to him that night. But I remember him running by when I walked in late and flashing his big smile as I said hello.
That next morning, we would get the news that Michael had been in a horrible car accident. With tension filled and hurting hearts, we’d race up to the hospital and sit with Michael’s family as they waited for any news about their son. It would be the first of our over 50 visits to that hospital in the following three months to sit and talk with and pray for Michael and his family.
My heart pounds a little harder remembering those days. A few weeks ago, someone asked me why I had written so much about Michael this past year. I told them that it was my way to process and work through the grief of watching someone that we love go through such a heartbreaking and difficult time. When tragedy strikes, it’s very hard to know what to do to help. But I believe that we all have our gifts and that what honors God most is to use them to help and bless others.
And I’ll finish up this post with just a few things. One, we absolutely love Michael and his family. It’s been a difficult journey this past year, walking along side of them as Michael has worked to slowly recover from his traumatic brain injury. But we have seen God work and we know that He’s brought healing and strength and even though it’s been hard and maybe doesn’t always look how we want it to, we keep hoping and trusting in God’s path for Michael.
Secondly, there have been so many people who have joined this journey. Prayers and visits and support and gifts have been given and I know that it has meant to much to the Einfeldts. That being said, I learned that there is another way that we as family and friends and community can help this Christmas time.
Some of Sally’s friends and coworkers from Brookhaven Hospital are putting on a Pancake Breakfast at Applebees in Patchogue (499 Sunrise Hwy North Service Rd) on Christmas Eve morning, December 24th, from 8:00am-10:00am. The ticket cost is $15 per person with most of the money going directly to the Einfeldts. I was told that tickets can be bought at the door. This event is open to everyone and if you have questions, the contact number is 631-687-5423. This is a wonderful way to continue to help show our love and support for Michael, his parents Mike and Sally and his sisters Kaitlyn and Sarah. I know the money will be helpful in going towards supporting Michael’s future and his family as they support him. Thank you for being a part of this journey and thank you for the many ways that you helped this awesome family.
*This picture was taken the day after Michael’s accident of an amazing group of family, friends and community that came together to pray for Michael and for his family.