12 hours ago
1 9 9 8 | When I was 17, I was fortunate to travel to America as a @lionsclubs Youth Exchange Student through our local #Murwillumbah club.
After spending a couple of weeks (and that Christmas) in a small town called Martin in #Michigan with the wonderful Foster Family, I moved on to my second placement in Sigourney, Iowa with the Miller Family.
Jody and Randy Miller were so warm and made me feel welcome from the very time I stepped off my flight in Des Moines. Greeted by Randy’s dazzling smile at the airport, I felt at ease from the get go and was treated to an unforgettable few weeks in their home, the local community and feeling welcomed by their three children too; Derrick, Devin and Darren.
Over the last 20 years, I have thought of this time often and in the last few am grateful to be reconnected with these families again thanks to Facebook.
Today I learned that Randy had passed away after a brief but mighty battle against cancer.
My heart is heavy that I never got to see him and his family again. I’m forever grateful for my time with him and his family; people whom have made a difference in their community as well as the lives of numerous exchange students from across the world and the foster children in their home.
Knowing all too well the pain the family is now facing breaks my heart and I know the long road they have ahead.
RIP Randy; thank you for your open and giving heart - and for making a 17 year old so far from home, feel right at home, in snowy Iowa.