Last week was a difficult one for me. My oldest brother, Sam, died in Mississippi after a long illness with his heart. He had a beautiful military funeral. While I know that he is in heaven, it's hard to accept that another sibling is gone. If you look close in the photo, you'll see a cross and a charm around my neck. One is a Glacier National Park charm in memory of my brother, Gary and the cross in memory of my sister Gail and brother Orville. During those last weeks before Sam's death, I worked furiously to meet my deadline on book 3, knowing that his passing would be imminent. I completed the novel one week before he died.
At the wake, many of his family and friends attended to give tribute to a life well lived. On either end of the room where my brother's casket lay, were TV screens, depicting his life through a video. I couldn't tear my eyes away from it and lingered a long time as the story of his life unfolded. It gave me a keener insight to a side of my brother's life that I hadn't seen before because I lived out of state. His wife, Olevia (no-it's not misspelled), had passed away 9 years before and he'd mourned her passing. Through his church, he became good friends with a sweet widow who lived down the country road from him. Frankie soon became the sunshine in his life while his heart steadily declined. Though a few years older than Sam, she was a constant cheerful presence in his life, though she had her own health issues.
When Frankie arrived at the wake, we snapped this photo before she made it to the casket to view Sam. Through my tears, I had to chuckle. She's a girly girl like me, and was all decked out in mauve pink from top to bottom. She carried a pink handbag and wore pink little heels. She always dolled up for him when she came to visit. She'd had a recent fall that broke her back so I assisted her to view my brother, and she broke down. She said she wished it could have been her instead. My sister, Doris, reminded her that it would have been just as hard on him if it had been her lying there instead. As she clutched onto the side of the casket, I pointed out to her that he wore a mauve-pinkish shirt and gray suit that matched her outfit and she gave me a tender smile. She really loved him and he loved her. I'm grateful that she made the last years of his sick existence bearable.
Which brings me full circle to ask this. What is love? God 's word gives us the definition in a nutshell from I Corinthians 13:4:
Love is patient
Love is kind
It does not envy
It does not boast
It is not proud
Love believes all things
Hopes all things
Endures all things and LOVE NEVER FAILS. Selah, (I added).
My brother Sam had fought the good fight, he'd finished the race and kept the faith. I know there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day!--and not only to me, but also to those that have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6.
Though right now I feel dead in my heart, Christ is alive and working in me.