I’m riding back on a Friday from the post office and I’m passing a store on the right that has bikes for sale for kids. I see them on the sidewalk, red, green, and blue, they are. My mind flashes back to the fall months prior to Christmas. My grand boy’s, James and Thomas 4, and 3 were with me then in the car and they saw those bikes. James immediately said I want the green one and Thomas says he wants the blue one.
As the weeks past, we go by that store several times a week and Thomas says “Pa that’s my bike and it’s waiting for me. And then every time he says that. Finally I say well maybe Santa Clause will bring you boys those bikes and he did.
As I’m thinking about that today, I realize that those boys are really angels. They are so young, sweet, trusting, and innocent. I can see those beautiful smiles as well as those big bright, blue eyes. When I think of them, I think of the light that they bring to my world. And I think of their individuall lights.
As I think of the gift of life of those boys and tears slowly start to come gently down my cheek, and I think of my brother-in-law. I think of that light of his that lit my life for so long. That light went out on January 27th at 3 am in a Hospice facility. As the tears flood now I remember only that Tuesday, as my wife and I visited with him, he appeared to be doing so well. They were looking at him going to rehab and I had told him that I believed that he would be home in a few days. He told me he believed this too. Well, that same night was not a good one for him. But on Wednesday he rebounded somewhat and the family was then told that he was not a candidate for rehab and referred him to hospice. He was transferred on Wednesday night late and seemed then to go quickly downhill.
This man that I came to know as Tony when introduced to him as a child became like a brother to me. I never realized the impact he would have not just on me but all my family. He was originally from Idaho but after meeting my sister and marrying her, he made his home here in Georgia.
Rarely did he get back to see his family unfortunately and that always made me feel sad for him.
I have lost people in my family before and it seems far too many and much too early for some. But never have I really felt anger before about this that I can recall. I feel it now.
As I drive my car today to run some errands, I see people out walking that appear to exist with no purpose. You know the type, people that run the streets during the day and night. Many appear to have that vacant look in their eyes as if they are not really alive. No sign of any light do I see.
Then I think of this man and how much he contributed to the world in which he lived. Loved by many was he and always willing to help anyone anytime, anyplace. He had a heart of gold.
I am angry because he is not here anymore and that my sister, niece, and his grandkids have had to give him up. I really didn’t want him to go. I know he is in a better place. He was a devout Christian and I am proud of that.
I prayed for him over the past few weeks many times a day and night with him and for him. During these times, I found myself begging God to give him more time and to heal his body.
I know God will help with the anger I feel and I know that it is okay to be angry with God for he can take it. I also know that this precious man is not suffering anymore and he is in heaven. But even though I know these things, I still feel such sadness. I understand it will still take time to work through my grief.
As I think back over his death, my mind goes back to that Saturday morning at 3 am, January 27 when his sweet daughter, Angie called the house awaking me from a deep sleep, crying and saying her daddy had died. I see her in my mind's eye now taking care of her daddy in the weeks leading up to his death. And she did it in such a loving way.
As we arrived and I saw that heartbroken daughter standing so lovingly by his beside, I knew God was in that room. She told me that just before her dad had died that she had seen a bright light outside the window and looked out thinking it was car lights but discovered there were no cars. She said she knew it was God. Well, when I entered that room I recognized God in her so I know she had experienced God’s presence. She also told me that now her daddy was with her brother, Randy, who had died tragically at 24 years of age in 1983.
I know this good man is in heaven reunited with his son and other family members. I told him while visiting him on that Tuesday that I had been trying to figure out what it was about him that made me love him so much. I then told him I realized what it was. My mom and dad loved him like a son and he loved them. So I had no choice but to love him.
His death has left me numb and heartbroken. But as shocked and saddened as I am, I know God cares. An old hymn sums up it best for me. Many things about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand, but I know who holds the future, I know who holds my hand.