This year was a wonderful Christmas. Seeing the sparkle in Natalie & Julian’s eyes as they saw what Santa had brought was delightful. The greater gift came when we were leaving for church shortly after walking down the stairs to see what Santa had left and not getting to open all the gifts. Not even the ones Patty’s sister, Cathy had sent. Neither one of them fussed at all to leave the house full of wonderful toys and packages left unopened to go and worship our King. I do not believe many children would have been so willing to go to church when such temptations were at hand to stay home. For me that was the best gift I received this Christmas, in addition to time spent with Brian’s brother Evan.

Our family spent time celebrating with my family the day after Christmas. My brother always complains about all the pictures I take. That day I told his sons that of all people, my brother, should know how important pictures are since he studies genealogy. Pictures are often all that is left when we leave this world. Little did I know how true those words would ring on December 29th.

I was getting ready to take the twins and my niece Caroline out skating and for lunch when I got the call from Brian that his youngest brother had passed away. At 33, Evan had gone to be with our Lord. I was reminded of my time in Haiti when I was walking the dirt path of the Mountains and came along a village where a woman was crying out in such terrible anguish. When I asked the translator what was going on they told us her child had died. We saw people on the road running toward the voodoo village we were passing. As we passed I prayed for that woman and her family.

And now that was what I was doing for my father-in-law and mother-in-law, praying. The difference is that we are not crying such tears of anguish because we know Evan is safe in the arms of Jesus. Evan will be missed and we will think of him daily, the missing spot in the family will never be replaced. The talented musician, golfer, and scholar that he was will always be remembered and loved. This past week we have traveled to be with Brian’s parents. It has been a healing time for us as we have cried, we have laughed at the memories we shared, but now we rejoice and celebrate the life he had, but most importantly the everlasting life he is living now.

Praise be to God for giving us Evan for 33 years and as Julian tells me one day God will give him back to us. I will end with Evan’s favorite Bible verse, Hebrews 13: 1-3 “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”


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