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.

                                  TERRY’S FAVORITE BIBLE PASSAGE – PSALM 16

Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge. I said to the LORD, "You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you." The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them! Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods. I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood or even speak the names of their gods. LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. (New Living Translation)


               A SONG SHARED BY TERRY IN HIS LAST E-MAIL UPDATE TO FRIENDS

Oh I know you are never unkind, But Heavenly Father
Since you know my heart,Surely you can read my mind
Good people underneath the sea of grief, Some get up and walk away
Some will find ultimate relief
Chorus: Home Free, eventually, At the ultimate healing we will be Home Free
Home Free, oh I’ve got a feeling, At the ultimate healing, We will be Home…Free

Out in the corridors we pray for life, A mother for her baby, A husband for his wife
Sometimes the good die young, It's sad but true
And while we pray for one more heartbeat, The real comfort is in you
Chorus: Home Free, eventually, At the ultimate healing we will be Home Free
Home Free, oh I’ve got a feeling, At the ultimate healing, We will be Home…Free

Pain shows little mercy, And suffering's no respecter of age, of race or position
But I know every prayer gets answered, But the hardest one to pray is slow to come
Oh Lord, not mine, but Your will be done
Chorus: Home Free, eventually, At the ultimate healing we will be Home Free
Home Free, oh I’ve got a feeling, At the ultimate healing, We will be Home…Free

Lord, Let it be... Home Free, oh, I’ve got a feeling, At the ultimate healing we will be Home, Home Free, oh, I’ve got a feeling, At the ultimate healing we will be Home
We will be Free

BACK