Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brother, Are You at Peace?

So many conversations since your death. So much revelation - hopefully some growth for all affected.
So if I could talk to you now, I would ask you, "Are you at peace?"
I can't imagine what it was like to be young and in the prime of your life and to find out your diagnosis. I'm sure initially you had no idea what this meant, as you'd said to me in conversation, but over time it became clear. Physically, you were losing a piece of yourself, daily (it would seem). Physically, that must have been hard to watch and endure. The pain and all the unknowns. Emotionally and spiritually you had to come to grips with what was happening. As a spiritual person, whose faith was your bedrock I'm sure now this disease rocked your faith. I heard it in your voice when you were discouraged. I'm glad you didn't give in or give up, but through the end held on to your faith.

Oh, but the going through - must have been hard. Having a wife and children watch you. Fighting the demons in your mind. Maybe those thoughts became stronger than reality.
You were married - what a blessing. When we get married we take vows and I think we have no idea what we're saying, it's our intention that's good. In sickness and in health took on new meaning in your situation. Your sickness took on a life of its own. Your sickness, her health.
When you're sick and chronically ill - you are not 100%. You begin to feel less than a person. As a male, you acknowledged that this was a hard position for you.
Not being able to take care of your family as you wish - less than.
Everyone having to do for you - less than.
Tailoring your diet - less than.
Losing your teeth - less than.
Arthritis - less than.
Losing lots of weight - less than.
On an oxygen tank - less than.

You were sick - everyone else was well. But in little ways, you became more than your illness.
You were able to take long car trips - more than.
You were able to discipline the children - more than.
You were able to set an example for your family- more than.
You were able to love your wife - more than.
You were able to talk - more than.
You were able to study - more than.

In living and fighting this illness I'm sure they were many things that were left unsaid. I wish you would have said them. Your wife, in your last days, allowed us to have the opportunity to spend time with you. God bless her for doing that, even though it turned out to be quite difficult.

You were the big brother - a position of pride. You had differing relationships with each person, but you never told us bye. You told many friends - see you in heaven, but you never told us. I knew the end was near but you never acknowledged it with me.
The strangest things bring back memories - shortbread biscuits. Do you remember the first time you baked them in school and came home with that smile of pride on your face and duplicated it for us? I ate shortbread biscuits the other day and it brought back this memory. Listening to Chuck Colson on the radio and hearing the word worldview and remembering that you took a course with this organization. I regret that I didn't listen more.

I don't know if you were at peace in your last hours, but I surely hope you are now.

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