In a few short months, it will be 2 years since I last spoke to you and held your hand. I remember on that last day how you spoke to us in your final hours here on earth. Unfortunately, we just could not understand what it was you were saying. I wonder sometimes if you were perhaps talking to your guardian angel then and we just could not see him. I guess you’ll have to tell us when we see you again in Heaven.
I do remember the words that I said that day, over and over again, “I love you, Jesse.” I still say those words often when I visit the cemetery where we laid your body to rest. I believe your spirit is with the Lord in Heaven, perhaps in some kind of intermediate body, while you wait for that great Resurrection Day when your spirit will be reunited with your glorified body, of which your earthly body is the seed. What a day that will be! I hope that I have my theology in order, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.
So much has changed since you were here with us. The boys are all going to public school now. I know Christian was already when you were in the hospital. I know you were worried about Christian getting a bully in school, but so far so good. The boys have friends at school, but no bullies. Your mom is going to school now too, how about that! She is studying to get her GED. Then, she wants to work in the hospital where you were. That’s pretty cool, huh?
We don’t have the bookstore anymore, either. It didn’t make enough money to keep it. Just think, I don’t have to do all that bookkeeping any more. I have had more time to spend with your mom and brothers. I think you would like that.
We go to a different church now too. I bet you didn’t expect that one. It was a surprise to us too, but things were so sad for us there. Some things happened that would be hard to explain to a child, but maybe now that you are in Heaven, you might have a better perspective than all of us. You remember how you would ask in the hospital why some people did not come to visit. Well, some people never visited us after you died, either. I don’t think they could handle how much we missed you, so they just stayed away. We are sad that we have lost some friends that way, but we ask God to help us forgive and not hold any bad feelings. God is faithful, as you probably know much better than us, now that you live in His house.
We miss you so much. It has been hard for some people to understand. They think that we should just “move on” by now, but we will never “move on” from you. You touched our lives so deeply. You faced your cancer and death so bravely. A part of us died with you that day, and our family will never be complete until we are all together again in Heaven.
With God’s help, we are moving forward with our lives, though. We carry our memories of you and your love in our hearts everyday. We want to be where you are one day, in the presence of Jesus.
Mattias is growing us so fast. He just loves school and is way too smart for his own good. He’ll often say how he misses you, and then he’ll talk about how you used to help him out of his crib. He still remembers. He was upset when they threw dirt on the coffin when we were burying your body, until Grandpa Wiebe told him, “It’s Jesse’s blanket.”
And, you know Noah. He is the quiet one. He sits in your old spot at the dinner table. He reminds me of you in some ways. He has your imagination. He also runs on his tippy toes like you did when you were smaller.
Christian is almost as old now as you were when you got sick. He thinks it will be weird to get older than you. I guess, we all think that will be a little strange for us. He sleeps in your old bed, now. I think it feels special to him. He misses having an older brother around, but he is doing his best to be the older brother to Noah and Mattias. Sometimes they drive him crazy. He knows now how you felt many times, I’m sure. His front baby teeth have been replaced by his grown –up teeth. Guess what? He has buck teeth just like yours. Sometimes, I look at him and he reminds me so much of you. I remember when I came home from work one day and you were sitting there doing your Bugs Bunny impersonation, “Eh, What’s up Doc?” I remember it so clearly. I love you so much.
Your mom is still waiting for God to give her a vision of you. It’s hard when her last memory is of you dying in the hospital. By faith, she believes that you are well and happy in Heaven, but it sure would be nice if she could see you there, just once. We have read stories about people who see visions of their loved ones after they die, and it seems to give them peace and help them move forward in this life. I would also love to have a vision of you, but I would be willing to give up my vision if it meant she could have one. Either way, God has not yet granted her desire. Even if He never does, we will continue to live by faith.
A Bible verse that stuck out to me shortly before you died was “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh” I often cling to that verse now, and am holding God to it as a personal promise to us. I can’t imagine what kind of laughing could erase all of our tears, but our Heavenly Father is so kind and generous, I’m sure it will be amazing.
P.S. I’ll see you at the 9th Gate, Jesse.