A VERY SPECIAL BROTHER
My grandfather used to sing a song that said,
"We are going down the valley one by one, with our faces toward
the setting of the sun ..." And the reality of this has certainly
been in my mind recently. During the past four years four of my closest
friends have walked down the valley of death and been taken home to
heaven. First it was Norm Zellers, then Gary Varner, then Ralph Michel
and now yesterday, my brother, Terry. While I know that all four are
in heaven, it is so hard to lose real life-long friends. Their deaths
were all so hard to take, but Terry's is the hardest. It hurts. We were
always close. We enjoyed being with each other. He was always so positive,
even when he was suffering in his final days. He had a strong Christian
testimony and encouraged so many people. He had wisdom and always had
ways to solve problems. He was always willing to help me. I have so
many memories ... sharing the mumps in Elizabethtown ... enjoying our
dog Frisky ... Christmas trips to Bethlehem ... walking to school with
him up N. Queen St. in Lancaster ... stitches and broken bones ... playing
baseball in the backyard ... trying to nail together a broken tree ...
enjoying Cho-Chos in Sunbury ... waiting in line together to buy a television
for nine cents ... camping at Mizpah Grove ... coaching his Teener baseball
team ... getting pinned by him when we wrestled ... watching his football
team win the league championship ... cheering him on as he wrestled
in tournaments and in college ... working together picking cherries
... laying down a squeeze bunt that scored him from third to win a church
softball game ... taking our kids to Long's Park ... using his car to
take a trip to Indiana when we were having trouble with our car ...
working with him in Awana ... serving on the elder board together ...
trips together, especially to Williamsburg ... going to a Penn State
football game with him ... spending New Year's Day together at dad's
... Sunday lunches at Wendys ... dealing together with mother's sudden
death ... checking on dad for us at times when we couldn't find him
... and so much more. Good memories are so important, but there is now
a void in my heart that will never again be filled. I do thank the Lord
that he took him peacefully yesterday while we sang hymns around his
bed in the hospital. We were singing "When We All Get To Heaven"
as he breathed his last breath here on earth and was ushered into the
presence of the Lord. And I hope that he had the chance upon his arrival
to wish mother, "Happy Mother's Day!". I thank the Lord for
the 63 years that I had the chance to have him as my brother and I look
forward to sharing again with him throughout eternity. For it is true,
we are going down the valley one by one.