88.3 F
The Villages
Friday, October 15, 2021

Parents greet son at end of remarkable journey in walk back from near death

Villager Mary Kay McCracken shed tears of joy after her son, Jeff McCracken, took the final steps of his Lazarus Walk on New Year’s Eve.

As the sun was setting, he walked into the parking lot at Hope Lutheran Church and was greeted by a handful of well-wishers, clapping and cheering his arrival.

Jeff McCracken is flanked by his parents, Mary Kay and Tom McCracken.
Jeff McCracken is flanked by his parents, Mary Kay and Tom McCracken.

McCracken, the son of Villagers Tom and Mary Kay McCracken, was all-but written off earlier this year. His heavy drinking landed him in hospice with only weeks to live.

Villages-News.com correspondent Angela Love first wrote about McCracken’s miraculous recovery and his Lazarus Walk earlier this year. You can read about it HERE

Mary Kay McCracken said her son’s story has prompted other Villagers, struggling with their own children’s addiction issues, to approach her.

“I encourage them not to give up. I encourage them to pray,” she said.

Starting off in a diminished state, Jeff McCracken found hope every day in his walks on the golf cart path from New Covenant United Methodist Church to Hope Lutheran.

“The first day I started it was hot. And then it rained,” McCracken said.

But after some of those rainy days, he spotted rainbows.

With each day and each step, McCracken grew stronger in body, mind and spirit.

Hope Lutheran Church member Bill Anderson became McCracken’s biggest champion, cheering him on at every turn.

Jeff McCracken and Bill Anderson.
Jeff McCracken and Bill Anderson.

A couple who had shared the golf cart path with McCracken day after day, finally stopped him to inquire about his mission. McCracken was thrilled to share his story.

And House of Hope, the drug recovery program based in Wildwood, proved to be a pillar of strength in McCracken’s remarkable recovery.

“God is not dead, I’m living proof,” McCracken said.

He is now working on a series of animated books, flash cards, puzzles, coloring books, apparel, plush toys, device downloads and videos designed to educate youngsters in the virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. You can learn more at http://www.fruitfarmofthespirit.com/

Members of Hope Lutheran Church greeted Jeff McCracken on New Year's Eve at the end of his journey.
Members of Hope Lutheran Church greeted Jeff McCracken on New Year’s Eve at the end of his journey.

Jeff McCracken prepares to depart from New Covenant United Methodist Church on New Year's Eve.
Jeff McCracken prepares to depart from New Covenant United Methodist Church on New Year’s Eve.

2 COMMENTS

More Headlines
Stories in and around The Villages, Florida

Headlines
The Villages, Florida

Letters to the Editor
Opinions submitted by residents in and around The Villages

Water sales by Lady Lake to Sumter County residents

In a Letter to the Editor, a Villager contends the Town of Lady Lake has no business providing water for development across the line in Sumter County.

Don’t believe the Daily Sun when it comes to Reverse One Sumter

A Lake Panasoffkee resident, in a Letter to the Editor, wants to set the record straight on representation on the Sumter County Commission.

Ed McGinty vows to return to Hadley pool

Villager Ed McGinty, who faces a stalking charge after a political disagreement at a swimming pool in The Villages, has vowed to return to that pool later this month. Read his Letter to the Editor.

American citizens abandoned in Afghanistan

A Village of Mallory Square, in a Letter to the Editor, blames president Biden for “abandoning” American citizens in Afghanistan.

Sumter County Republican Club has become a clique

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Bonita resident objects to an upcoming fundraiser being put on by the Sumter County Republican Club.

Photos
The Villages, Florida