As most of you know by now, my brother Tom made his last journey last Sunday morning around 2:00amEST. His cancer filled body finally gave up and he was subjected to what none of us will be able to avoid one day, DEATH. That word carries such a tone of finality with it, such an air of unpleasantness, as it should. To die is not a pleasant experience by any means, whether it’s a quick or long drawn out process, it’s never pleasant. In my brother Tom’s case, it was a drawn out and painful experience for all involved. His wife Carol and children were subjected to weeks of waiting for death to come, not knowing when he might breathe his last. I was told that as the hospice nurses would leave each day, they would linger at Tom’s bedroom door talking to his wife or one of the kids, simply explaining they he could go anytime now. All the while my brother would be what seemed to be totally out of it and laboring for each breath.
But as the conversation about his current situation would conclude, he would tell the hospice caretaker, “thanks and I’ll see you tomorrow.” I think it was his way of letting them know, he wasn’t going anywhere just yet. On one of the rare occasions when no one was in his room for just a few moments, he died as he lived, with dignity. He took that final journey to that very real place the Bible speaks of for those that have trusted Christ, Heaven.
My brother was a very independent hard working man. He would perform tasks that would normally take 2-3 men to do. But somehow, Tom would work out a way to get it done himself without ever asking for help from anyone. That’s how he lived his life, with one exception, his salvation. When Tom was faced with the burden of his sin and the truth of the gospel, he realized he couldn’t take care of it on his own. He realized his own solution, his own hard work, his own good works, all his Marine training, were not enough to save his eternal soul. So he did what we all have to do, he cried out to God for His grace and mercy and forgiveness and was saved by Christ and Christ alone.
He will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him. On behalf of his wife Carol and the rest of our family, I want to thank you all for all your prayers and thoughtfulness over these past several months. It definitely made this process just a little easier to deal with. I only wish you could have met my brother Tom. Oh wait, you will one day, providing you have trust in Christ the Savior to carry the burden of your sins. When death comes knocking on your door you too will take your last journey, to a real place called Heaven.
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
blessed is the man against whom
the Lord will not count his sin.”