I just came from two days of an incredible tribute, outpouring of love from community and family after the sudden loss of my cousin John Carl Phelps.
“JC – The Big Ticket” Phelps (41 years old) was a pro softball player who was honored by over 1000 people who came to pay their respects and give prayers after his sudden and untimely death of a heart attack. We were in Ohio doing a dressage show and headed home early Sunday morning in time to sit with our family while an unending line of people came to pay their respects from 3PM till 8:PM. JC was buried in his uniform, and was know as one of the all time power hitters in the sport. He was employed by Louisville Slugger, and even had a bat named after him.
In the church where my husband and I were married, his lifelong friends, community, teachers, and teammates from around the county arrived. My brother Matthew flew in from Massachusetts, and we all said good-bye to this gentle giant who loved his family, adored his Mom, Judy, and was just an all-round nice guy. I was truly inspired by the strength his wife Myra, and children Jacob and Elizabeth portrayed. Along with Judy who lost her husband John after a long and valiant struggle with a double lung transplant, they greeted everyone who came with love, appreciation, strength and dignity.
If hugs could heal the pain of grief, then hopefully their broken hearts can recover and once again know joy.
JC was buried near my parents, and next to his father in the Phelps Family cemetery in Jamestown, Kentucky. Rest in peace big man. We will miss you forever.