Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 23

Only three of us - maybe five - will remember what today is. I've actually been remembering it all month, and the months preceding this one as well. But here it is - Today.

A year ago today, you finally left us for good.

Perhaps not for our good, but definitely for yours.

I miss you.

I think of you continually.

You were so very, very handsome, and your eyes were gorgeous green. Since you lived with Dad and would only visit on occasion, my girl friends were always shocked when they saw you.

"THAT'S your brother? Is he coming over? May I come over?"

My senior prom was attended by both of my handsome brothers, and my handsome future husband. What a great night that was! The next time you would all be dressed like that would be our wedding day.

I miss you.

You were absolutely fearless. You would set up elaborate bike jumps involving wagons, scooters, other bikes, and neighborhood kids. (I was the smart one who would choose a spot closest to the jump, just in case.) Again and again you would race your BMX bike down the street and hit that ramp, clearing the lot of us every. Time. You eventually raced your way into a sponsorship with Schwinn. 

Motocross followed, but turned out to be an expensive sport and you only did a race or two. As catcher on your high school baseball teams, you were known to practically snatch the ball from the batter before he could hit it. In football, you ended up in the paper about your games with Brett Harte High.

Later, after high school, that fearlessness led you to the ski slopes. I bet if you had continued living there, you would have loved snowboarding!

 Sometimes; well, most of the time, that fearlessness got you into trouble. 

This is how you looked after you hunted down the guys who put a dent in your car after a friend borrowed it. 

I remember Himself jokingly telling you that you needed to hit harder, run faster, or keep your mouth shut!

When I moved to the desert, I would sometimes get a knock on my door and there you would be, your big rig parked down the street. You would take a shower, get a haircut and a meal, and visit for a bit before filling your thermos with coffee (and 3/4 cup of sugar) and hitting the road. 

You delighted in my children. Thank you.

Life on earth wasn't easy for you to handle. You would come in and out of our lives with sometimes a year passing before I'd hear your voice on the phone or that knock on my door. I'm smiling because you always called me at least once per year, a week before my birthday.

Which, of course, was your birthday.

You knew that I had no idea how to call you or find you, so you would reach out. Thank you so much for doing that. I knew you were struggling with life on earth, and I was thankful for the opportunities to tell you that it didn't matter and that I loved you. I moved to Florida and thought I'd never get a knock on my door from you again, but you came! You called and said you were in Orlando and could we meet? YES! We pulled into that parking lot and I told Kelly and Glenna, "Oh my goodness! He hasn't changed a bit!"

And you were telling the guy driving cross-country with you, "Oh my God. She looks like my Mom!"

Then Jeff passed away, and life brought us together again. 

And we smiled, and none of us knew it was our last photo together.

Our last photo of you.

It was during that visit that I was able to share that all of us sin and are in need of a Savior, that nothing we do could ever earn God's forgiveness and favor, and that Jesus had to be perfect for us and die in our place so that we could live eternally with Him. Having believed that and trusting in Christ alone, we become God's children and our sins are forgiven; past, present, and future. I made sure you heard this, and this time, you believed it. You had no further instruction or discipleship, but you knew it to be true. In this alone is my hope.

It is my hope that on this day we remember not your death, but your birth into a new life in eternity with God your Father. Finally, at last, one year ago today, you were free from the presence of sin and every struggle you've ever had. Finally, you knew without a doubt what love was.

I miss you, but I rejoice for you!

Love, Your Sister,


Joanna K. Harris said...

I Love you, my sister in Christ!
Praying for you today.

PWM said...

What a sweet tribute to your brother, JoAnna! No matter how many years pass, we always miss those we loved, but who went on before us. What a glorious day it will be when we're all reunited!

PWM said...

What a sweet tribute to your brother, JoAnna! No matter how many years pass, we continue to miss those we loved, but who went on before us. What a glorious day it will be when we're all reunited.

Anonymous said...

Crying with you for your loss but rejoicing with you knowing that your brother is at peace with Jesus. Love you, dear friend!



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