Encouraging Words

Memorial Day

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Memorial Day, is primarily
a date to memorialize the men and women who died while serving our country in military service. To observe of the holiday, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service.

We have had a number of members of my extended family who have served in the military, but I am only aware of one who died while serving.  That was my Uncle, Earl Brewer.  He was was killed in action in July 1944 while participating the liberation of France in WWII.  I vividly remember his service picture hanging in my grandmother’s living room, and wondering what he would have been like.

But we also honor other family members who have passed on before us.  Pictured above are my dad and my oldest son Joshua.  All of us, if we live long enough will eventually have to bid a final farewell to our parents.  My dad (John) passed away in 2015 from heart failure.   He was 83.  You can read about him in my February 7, 2018 post called “An Ordinary Unschooled Man.”

Fewer of us, on the other hand,  live long enough to bear the burden of losing a child.  My son, Joshua, died in 1993 at the age of nine.  Born with cerebral palsy, he was in fragile health most of his life.  You can read about him in my October 25, 2017 post called “Cain’t Leaves His Mark.”

I visited both my dad’s and my son’s graves yesterday,  I am fortunate to have nothing but good memories of both of them.  I miss them both very, very much.  I grieved when they passed, but not as one who had no hope.  I will see both of them again someday.

My Advice – Make the most of the opportunities you have to make memories with your loved ones while you still have them.  You will never regret it.

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