On Monday evening, October 24th, we met at my elder sister’s house to discuss funeral arrangements. While we were there, my sister and I were talking about a particular aunt with whom my brother corresponded on a regular basis. She mentioned how that 2 weeks earlier, that aunt had received a letter from Tom in which he had said that this was the last time he was going to write to her about God. Did he somehow know that his time left on this earth was short? I was blown away.
My brother John who lives in Wisconsin is married and has 3 wonderful children. He told his kids that it was likely that only him and his wife could fly out for the funeral, because they probably would not be able to afford airfare for the whole family. His 10 year old daughter told him that she was going to pray that God would make a way that they could come. My other brother Bob was checking into airfares. A few days later, he found an incredible deal through Southwest Airlines. The deal was so good that John was going to be able to fly out his whole family. God had answered Natalie’s prayer, and I was blown away.
The funeral home that handled the arrangements posted Tom’s obituary online along with a tribute wall where people could post about their memories of Tom. Quite a few people shared stories about how Tom had touched their lives. Some of the stories I knew, and some I did not know or had forgotten. While reading the various submissions, I realized afresh that the little things that my brother did made a big difference, and I was blown away.
The most pleasant surprises were experienced at the funeral. I saw many people whom I hadn’t seen in years that came to pay tribute to Tom and/or support the family. Beth and Rachel had traveled several hours to be there. As I was on the platform taking my turn to give a eulogy, I saw a blond haired lady standing in the back that looked like someone I knew. “Is that Carmen?” I wondered. Indeed, I found out later that it was her. She had flown out from Chicago. I was blown away.
The biggest “blow away” for me was yet to come. It was something that my sister Karen revealed when she stood up to give her eulogy.
to be continued…………………………….