Encouragement for Thursday

As of the date I am writing this message, March 8, 2023, I am remembering my younger brother Jeff who passed from his earthly life 28 years ago today. In some ways we were alike. In other ways, very different. As young kids we were close. As we got older we drifted to our own groups of friends and didn’t hang around much together. When we reached our mid twenties I think we started to appreciate each other more. We both had an interest in photography. We were both involved in musical groups– me vocally, and Jeff as a bass and guitar player in a couple of bands (although he did sing harmony, he didn’t consider himself a singer). He had a great love of animals and had many pets, sometimes taking in one friends didn’t want any longer. Both of us loved to travel. The two years prior to his passing we took a vacation together in the summer. We went to Hawaii one year, and then to the Bahamas (Nassau/Paradise Island) the next. The year he died we were making plans to go to Aruba. 

Jeff was a believer. He had struggles at different times with different aspects of life. He finally accepted that God would accept him the way he was–that he didn’t have to be perfect beforehand. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time with him when I had the chance. I wish I had gotten to know him better as an adult, and that we kept in touch better. I wish I had told him that I loved him more often. I believe he knows that I did love him, but I know I could have done much better.

This week’s encouragement is a bit different. We have family to love and people to appreciate for a period of time that is unknown to us. I would like to encourage you to make the most of your time with your family and loved ones. Get to know them and let them know that you love them. It is always tempting to think “I can do that tomorrow.” Sometimes you reach a point where you just can’t. Take advantage of the present.

I appreciate what Jeff taught me in life. I appreciate the experiences we shared–the laughter and the harder times. I appreciated having him to grow up with and be my brother. Hopefully my thoughts help you find renewed appreciation for your brothers, sisters, or others close to you. 

I would like to share a song that I think of when I remember him. It helps remind me that where he is I will one day be, and that we will meet again.

Take heart and be encouraged!

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