Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wayne, You're In Better Hands Now


I got a call yesterday from my dad. It’s unusual. My dad and I normally talk only on Sundays, so I knew something really good or something really bad happened. I could tell he was upset. He found on Friday morning from his brother Richard (I know him as uncle Butchie) telling him that his younger brother Wayne had died. We talked for several minutes about how Wayne was really the good one of the family of 12. He didn’t drink or smoke, was a devout Christian and had been the one that helped take care of his mother in her final years.

My dad is normally not a shakeable guy, but I knew something was really bothering him. Other members of his family had passed and he took it as water off a duck’s back, or at least seemingly. I finally asked what was bothering him so much about Wayne. He told me that I reminded him a lot of his younger brother. He sees that I try to live closer to Wayne than to him. My dad has had his own troubles, but he is being worked on in his later years.

I was impressed that he saw the comparison, but the real disappointing thing is that I never met the man. I’ve only been lucky enough to meet a couple members of my dad’s side of the family. The things I learned about Wayne I learned yesterday. We are common in being diabetic and we are common in having struggles in our lives that turned us to Jesus. Wayne had a tough time dealing with his mother’s death and his wife left him over it. He went on as a single man and never remarried. He kept the faith and loved people. What it came down to in the end it seems, that he died of a broken heart.

From my father’s conversation, I would really have liked to have met Wayne. It sounds as if we might have been friends. But it made me think of how much of my dad’s side of the family I’ve missed out on since dad decided to leave at age 3 and seemingly never look back until my adulthood. I’m trying to catch up. I have three half sisters that I have never met. The twins, Stephanie and Christie, would be 36 or 37 now. I know Christie was in Arizona, the last I heard of her in the late nineties and Stephanie and my youngest sibling Ember, were rumored to be in Oregon. That was in 1992. Earlier this year, I thought I had found them. A man in Oregon told me that he knew them and that they were interested in meeting me. Nothing materialized and I was disappointed. But it does make me wonder.

Back to uncle Wayne. I feel bad that life was tough for him in those final years. I can’t imagine losing my wife in later years and living alone. It always happens to one spouse or the other though. I can’t wait to see him in heaven though. Revelation tells us that Jesus will wipe every tear from our eyes on the day of judgement. Don’t misunderstand me though. I know those tears will be wiped because of seeing the people that we could’ve potentially saved and did not. However, I think there will be a whole lot of other tears of joy that Jesus will let us handle. Those will be from seeing loved ones in heaven and knowing that we will walk together in eternity. In the meantime Wayne, I do know one thing. You’re in better hands walking next to a Savior that loves you. I know that you are walking with other relatives that went on before you. I know that you’re probably sharing stories right now with my mom’s parents about a little boy that your big brother says lives a little like you in the present. Just be careful not to buy everything they tell you.

I love you guys!

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