Simply beautiful...

Simply beautiful...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Remembering Jeffrey...

April 14, 2005... how can I forget that day? Today marks the 5 year anniversary of my brothers' passing away. It feels so strange to write that... Wasn't it just yesterday I sat in his room as we confided in each other about life's ups and downs? Just yesterday... and yet it seems difficult to remember some of the memories.

For those that knew Jeffrey, know that my brother had his share of "rough" years. Years that caused him to be rather absent from our family once he graduated high school. Today it feels frustrating that there is a gap between my memories of him. I have many memories from years ago and some from just before he left us. It's hard not to wish there were more somehow...

I have the most amazing memories of him in our growing up years. He was the big brother that the younger three of us looked up to. We were proud of him - he was smart, endlessly funny, and always made us feel safe when we needed him to. He also played the role most older brothers "have to" play... he tortured us relentlessly! He teased us, wrestled us, and made us do the dishes when my parents left him in charge. In our younger years, he and I butted heads most out of the four of us - I think mostly because he and I were similar. We had strong personalities that had a tendency to be stubborn, yet we were sensitive. In the end, those commonalities were what ended up bringing us closer as brother and sister in his last year he was alive.

Those years while Jeffrey was away, he contracted the flu virus that ended with a rare outcome. The flu virus settled in his heart and caused him to eventually have a condition called cardiomyopathy, a serious disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed and doesn't work as well as it should. As Jeffrey was an adult, he took care of his own medical business. All we knew is that he was sick and that he was not a transplant candidate. We never dreamed that this disease was terminal for him... especially not that suddenly. He was 27.

I think it's safe to say that my parents, siblings and I all see my brother as a very real life "prodigal son". He walked away from everything for a period of time... from God, from his family and friends, from his values. But, by God's grace, his story did not end there. God did an amazing work in Jeffrey's life before he died: He brought him back to his faith, back to our family, and brought Jeffrey peace with himself. His life always makes me think of 2 Corinthians 12:9, which says "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness".

I miss my brother deeply... I wish I could give him a hug... and have one more conversation with him... and tell him I love him just one more time.

Jeffrey's life has made two things most clear to me: to cherish those dear to my heart and never take them for granted, and just how thankful I am for the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. It is because of that I know I'll see my brother again someday...


  1. Though going down memory lane is so hard, it is also precious. Thanks for saying so well your inner thoughts. They mirror my own in many ways. It was comforting to talk with you tonight, Audi. You are a very sensitive and caring person and I love that about you! Mimi

  2. audi that was beautifully written. I commend you for being brave sharing your heart and your brother's memory with us. my heart goes out to you and your family. thanks for reminding us to cherish the things in life that matter. love you.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing such precious and beautiful memories! I can completely relate to and share your loss and pain...but praise God for the hope we have in Him. God bless you and your precious family!