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Today my dad would have been 71 years old. I think about him and miss him every day. I tell my kids stories about him and remind them of events and stories so he stays in their memories. I miss his voice, his loving advice and council, his warm hugs, his music, and his conversation. We could chat for hours and not run out of things to talk about. 

My dad was buried on his youngest brother’s birthday and my uncle is now being buried three days after my dad’s birthday. Some times I feel like there must be some sort of mysterious meaning in things like this, but at other times I feel like it’s of no consequence… it’s just life.  In either case, it’s my hope and prayer that they, and their other siblings who have passed as well, have heard our Lord say:

“…‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’”

Matthew‬ ‭25:21‬ ‭
My dad with my eldest son. 2012.

Though I still grieve him, I find peace and remember that I can still talk to him, for though man may die, in Christ he lives.  Those departed in Christ may be separated in realm, but in Christ, we are united and the Church triumphant raises our petitions as incense to God (Rev. 5:8)

“But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:13-18‬ ‭

O God of spirits and of all flesh, Who hast trampled down death and overthrown the Devil, and given life to Thy world, do Thou, the same Lord, give rest to the souls of Thy departed servants in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose, where all sickness, sighing, and sorrow have fled away. Pardon every transgression which they have committed, whether by word or deed or thought. For Thou art a good God and lovest mankind; because there is no man who lives yet does not sin, for Thou only art without sin, Thy righteousness is to all eternity, and Thy word is truth. For Thou are the Resurrection, the Life, and the Repose of Thy servants who have fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever unto ages of ages. Amen.

May his memory be eternally in the heart and mind of our Savior, Christ Jesus.