Friday, December 25, 2009

Truly Home for Christmas- A Memorial to My Brother Jeff

I'll Be Home For Christmas

I'm dreamin' tonight of a place I love
Even more then I usually do
And although I know it's a long road back
I promise you

I'll be home for Christmas….

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams…

………they were aliens and strangers on earth.
Hebrews 11:13

But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
2 Peter 3:13

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Revelation 21:4

My brother Jeff 55, passed away Wednesday December 23.

He was a gentle, sentimental “teddy bear” of a man. Perhaps that’s why his favorite animals were bears and in fact he had a love of all animals and the great outdoors. He was a passionate and devoted fan of his beloved MSU Spartans and proudly wore his “green and white.” My brother inherited a love of the Christmas season from our dad. Every Christmas Eve he delighted in quoting the traditional saying passed from our dad, “Tonight’s the Night!”

He possessed an sharp, inquisitive mind,before he became so burdened by an awful disease( Schizophrenia ) loved a good story and was a prankster at heart.

My brother loved to reminisce about the 1950’s, a time of his youth, of innocence, a time when our dad was alive, a time of hope when anything seemed possible.And because of his amazing recollection was able to draw out warm and funny memories of those times for me and my family. My brother also loved kids, being a big kid himself and was a very beloved uncle to his nieces and nephews.

My brother lived with mom all his life because of his special needs. After my dad died, he became the “man in her life” so to speak, although he really in many ways stayed her baby.
She needed him... and he needed her.

My mom passed away this June, at almost 93 years “young.” Although she was of what we consider an advanced age she was still was a vital woman, taking care of her household, cleaning and cooking for my brother.

My brother simply could not tolerate her loss.
They had created their own world together and my mom had created a sanctuary for him, a shelter in most ways from the world. So I believe that the Lord in His great mercy gave my brother Jeff his greatest Christmas gift ever, He took him home. Home for Christmas.....with my mom, my dad and the most glorious magnificent Christmas celebration my brother has ever experienced, joyous for one who loved Christmas so much

In years to come, at Christmas I will choose not to think of that one sad act but of him, whole, healed, free and truly “Home for Christmas”.

Love you Jeffie


Amy D. said...

What a beautiful tribute and story Joan. Thank you so much for sharing such an intimate and wonderful part of your families life. I am so very sorry for the loss and grief you have endured this past year, but I am truly inspired by, and in full agreement with you, that some gifts are truly a blessing and of greater value than we may ever understand.

Gods blessings upon your caring soul Joan, your passionate spirit and your devoted and genuine stride to understand and share things...especially the love of a family.

Praying for God to lift your heart of sadness while strengthening your body and mind during this time of sadness and joy.


C Hill said...

This post touched me. I passed the link along to my mother. I know what it is like to lose a brother, and to feel great pain and great joy at the same time. Keep the faith, sister!

apackof2 said...

Thank you both for your kind remarks..We who are followers of Jesus can still maintain a hope, despite sorrows and trials.

We know that we will be reunited with our loved ones who have gone on to their heavenly home before us because the Lord in His infinite love and righteousness was born a baby in a little town in Bethleham and then gave His life so that all who choose to recieve Him as the Lord of their life may live..forever, with Him

Margery said...

Our prayers are with you, Joan, as you grieve the loss of your brother...and from what I could read, your mother as well. Your light shines brightly to the world and your aroma is sweet to the Lord as you share your heart in Christ and speak to "the grace in which you stand" Romans 5:2.

apackof2 said...


Thank you so much for your prayers and beautiful word....Romans 5:2

...through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Conservative Pup said...

Joan, your post brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother, and your brother. He was a very lucky man to have a mother like yours, and you for a sister. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God bless you and give you His comfort.

Beautiful tribute.

apackof2 said...

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.....