GRAYSON, Ky. (KT) – One of Teri Huffine’s 33 grandchildren asked her a pointed question the other day.
“You say you have 33 grandchildren but don’t you mean 32?” the grandchild asked. “Do we minus Natalie now?”
Natalie Huffine was one of her youngest grandchildren as part of triplets. She died last week at 2 months old.
“I told him, ‘No matter whatever happens to you, I will never minus you. We will never forget Natalie. I still have 33 grandchildren.’ Kids say the things that adults are thinking sometimes,” she said.
The last dozen days have been something of a whirlwind for Huffine, the grandmother not only of baby Natalie but also of William Burton, the 12-year-old whose life was in the balance after suffering cardiac arrest on a Little League field almost two weeks ago.
The Burton family had just been visiting Huffine in Edgewater, Florida, when her daughter called with the news that William was in bad shape.
Huffine was reminded of the day when another daughter, Kynda Moore, was injured in car accident and had to be airlifted to a hospital.
“When you don’t know what to say, you just say Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” she said. “Amy said ‘Mom you need to get here.’ I thought I was coming for support. I didn’t realize I was coming because they weren’t sure he was going to make it.”
She also didn’t realize that she was going to be needed to be with her son Troy whose daughter would die that same week.
“It’s a huge comfort to know when you are already grounded in faith that you know what to do when you’re hit that hard,” she said. “You know who your comfort is. Your faith is either in your heart grounded or you don’t truly have faith.”
Huffine said the family knew from the minute that Natalie died that no matter what, God was in control.
She saw God working in many ways through the week, including bringing Kyndra home from the mission field in Africa to be with her siblings in these desperate hours.
Another daughter, Leah, who lives in Cincinnati was able to greet William as they brought him to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital from Ashland. She had become reacquainted with a friend from long ago who was a airlift nurse. While she wasn’t on the flight, the nurse was able to keep Leah updated on where they were and when they would arrive.
The family has rallied around as 12-year-old William Burton has recovered from cardiac arrest and surgery and as they grived while burying baby Natalie.
It was a heartbreaking week but also one where a family’s faith was rewarded.
“We’re never going to forget this week or forget these people who have helped us,” she said. “People have told us ‘I want faith like this, I want security and comfort like this that you have.’ What else are we here for if it’s not to give him glory?”
Huffine is living in Florida with her father and mother. Her mom has dementia and doesn’t understand what has happened.
“Those things hurt but we’re grateful for everything that’s happened even thought we don’t know all the reasons,” she said.
William’s new lease on life has rallied the Grayson community and a family of faith. “I wish you could see William,” she said. “His smile has never stopped.”
Neither has that of Teri Huffine as she counts off all 33 of her grandchildren.