Reflections on Owen’s Life

Posted by Lloyd on April 30, 2014 | Subscribe
in Family Stories



“Owen Thomas Parker went to be with Jesus on April 7, 2014.  Born to Brian and Allison Parker of Lawrenceville, GA on February 23, 2014, Owen lived his short life in Egleston Children’s Hospital, Atlanta where he was being treated for a congenital heart defect known as Shone’s Complex.

While on this earth just a few short weeks, Owen’s life has impacted many. The faith of his parents as they shared Owen’s struggle has been a source of reflection, encouragement and spiritual renewal to family and friends who have shared Owen’s journey though hospital visits, Caring Bridge and Facebook.  How a life is lived, not its length, is the true measure of a person.”

It has been almost three weeks since I wrote the above two paragraphs that formed the heart of our grandson Owen’s obituary.  It is time to start blogging again, but if you will indulge me a bit I want to reflect a little further on Owen’s life and his impact on me.

Susan and I experienced childbirth three times with our own children followed by three healthy grandchildren born to our daughter and son in law.  I don’t think I ever appreciated the miracle of childbirth like I do now after sharing Owen’s life.  Each breath is precious and should never be taken for granted.

There were over twenty children sharing the cardiac intensive care unit of Egleston Children’s Hospital at any given time during Owen’s stay.  Walks down hallways and visits to the cafeteria put us in contact with cancer patients, burn victims and many other infirmities young children were gracefully bearing.  Over the weeks we got to know some of the parents and grandparents as well as learn about the heartaches that caused their kids to need Egleston’s care.  I think my good health had caused me to be callous to the suffering around me.

Eyes can say everything.  Owen’s treatment required him to be on a ventilator almost the whole time heOwen
was at Egleston’s, resulting in him not being able to make audible sounds.  But Owen’s eyes would follow you when you talked or read to him.  His eyes would express satisfaction when his forehead was stroked and disapproval when his diaper needed changing.  When I think about Owen now, it is his intelligent eyes I see.

Our son became the teacher and we the students.  Because we have never experienced anything like Brian and Allison were going through with Owen’s illness, our rolls are to keep our mouths shut, watch, be patient and learn.  If you know me at all, you are probably chuckling right now because these are not natural roles for me.

Life is short.  My almost sixty years on this earth have flown by faster than the six weeks we spent with Owen at the hospital.   While I am looking forward to seeing Owen again in Heaven, I need to make better use of my time with the few days I have left on this earth.

We want to thank everyone who have been praying for Owen and our family during these difficult days.

More stories from the Cabin Woodworker are coming soon.






  • Gary Ward says:

    I am so sorry to read this. My heart hurts and is saddened for your son/wife and family. You all are in my thoughts.

  • Anita Tullier says:

    I am so terribly sorry for your loss. You and your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Sherri Wade says:


    It took me forever to figure out how to actually send you a note. I’m still not sure I’m doing it right. I want you to know I prayed for Owen. I am so sorry to hear he passed away. Through caringbridge, he touched so many lives including mine. You have a truly special son and daughter-in-law. I will continue to pray for all of you.


  • Greg Girard says:

    Lloyd, my heart goes out to you and your family. Owen’s determination and your family’s strength exhibited throughout his life were truely remarkable and an inspiration to us all. I appreciate you and Allison sharing your journey and learnings with us. We’ll keep you guys in our thoughts and prayers.

    Take care buddy, Greg

  • Tony McDonald says:


    It is with sadness that I read of Owen’s brief life and struggle with Shone’s Complex. I had not heard of the anomaly until I learned of his illness. The anatomy is complex and a daunting task to repair, particularly in its most severe presentation. As a grandfather, my heart goes out to your son and his wife, and to you and Susan. I know that time helps, but we will keep you in our prayers.

    On a brighter note, Renee and I are finally getting to spend some time in the mountains over the next two weeks. I must confess that I haven’t been practicing my hand cut dovetails (I cheated and used my neighbor’s Leigh jig for my first attempt at drawers – for the time investment in the learning curve, I probably could have gotten pretty good at making them by hand!). I have completed some Arts and Crafts furniture over the winter for our mountain home and am very interested in learning more about the Greene & Greene style. I hope you don’t mind if I drop by to see how the cabin is coming along. If you need some manual labor, I will be happy to assist.

    Best wishes,


  • Lloyd says:

    Tony, I’m sorry to have missed you on your visit to WL. I didn’t see your comment in time to get in touch with you while you were here. You are always welcome to drop in. Thanks for our heartfelt comments regarding Owen.

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