A Very Personal and Loving Tribute to my Brother

pic of Bruce as a baby

“For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

(Romans 3: 23 ESV)

Dear Friends,

 It is through painful tears and a very heavy heart… I post this brutally honest blog…on the 9th anniversary of my brothers’ death. Let us all PLEASE remember… EVERYONE needs Jesus and all of us are NOTHING without Him (John 15:5) … and in this turbulent and changing time in our society….it is not us who decides who He calls…but the One who came and died so we may have everlasting life… and only through Him. We are just simply His messengers. Thank you for taking the time to read this memorial for one of the most loving, broken, and sensitive souls I have ever known! 

Kathy

Nine years this month since you left me that early and bright September morning and you promised me you would never leave me……but we truly have no control when that mysteriously pre-destined… yet mournful day will arrive for those who remain.  The day when our mortality catches us in the most unlikely moment and permanently delivers us behind the veil.  Autumn is so hard, so brutal… losing you…and losing our mom… many, many years before…but I try to remind myself just how much you loved this time of year….the cool and crisp autumn air slowly mixing with the old summer warmth…and in exuberant anticipation… you clothed yourself in old flannel shirts and torn up blue jeans and sat near the many evening campfires…and dreamed about achieving the great things in life …dreaming until very late into the cool autumn nights.  Love covers a multitude of sins and many chose not to love…but I loved you much…

bruce and i young

pic of me and my brother 2

You were a life-long seeker of fatherly love and affection, but you became the young recipient of fatherly rejection and abandonment…and not just once…but twice.  You possessed a huge and forgiving heart…forgiving those who constantly hurt and rejected you…and loved with a great and overflowing heart… for both God and man… until in your desperate search… you took the wrong path and fell prey to sin and deceit…and then you found yourself further shunned and rejected by our family, rejected by man, rejected by the community, and even rejected by the church…perhaps because your sexual sin was more difficult to conceal behind a mask… for even the forgiven often wear masks to disguise their own varied sins but their masks always grow heavy and burdensome, so to compensate for this burden…some grow more humble…and more dependent on God…yet many grow more proud, more self-righteous… and less dependent on God… and they grow ever more hateful towards the fallen world…and hatred stirs up conflict… but love covers over all wrongs…

You were a great refuge for all of the animals lost and frightened…and you were a loving and skillful caregiver to all of the people who were sick…old…and frail… under your care.  The very painful… yet beautifully bittersweet memory still persists in my mind of you sitting at mom’s bedside… just days before death would take her away …and you methodically and systematically attempting to feed her liquid nutrition using a small 5cc syringe…so tedious was your task…so loving was your heart…and it was you… the only one left clinging to hope…you the only one still choosing life over imminent death.  And it was only me who thought you still worthy of God’s love… and the forgiven kept busy loving and evangelizing the saved…the proud…and the self-righteous….and forgiving each other of their sins.  Yet, love is not arrogant or rude… it does not insist on its own way…it is not irritable or resentful…..it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth…and so… I continued to love you much…

Pic of me and my brother 1

pic of wedding with bruce

You were my brother… my greatest and only confidante…and my very best friend. I reminisce often…still with overwhelming grief… about the happy times we shared…when our laughter and joy filled the room and love was in abundant supply.  You did not have a political agenda…nor a personal vendetta wagered against others…just only seeking peace, love, and tranquility in your very brief life…  and always searching for the fatherly love only Christ could possibly fill….And my heart is still filled with overwhelming sorrow and pain when I realize that no one seeks to be identified only by their sins…as they forced you to be… and Jesus, my Lord and Savior… would NOT have identified you only by your sin…for when He calls out to us sinners…He calls us with uncanny familiarity and love… He calls us… by name and simply says to us, “Follow Me”….And those who choose to follow Him never again find themselves walking in darkness, but only will have the light of life….and the forgiven confess Him with their lips…yet some deny His Sovereignty…. most deny His power to transform…and many deny to all those still wandering in the darkness… His gift of salvation which is offered freely to all… because while we were still weak…Christ died for the ungodly….and we only love others because He first loved us….just as God demonstrated His very own love toward us….in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us….

older pic of us and bruce

pic of bruce in snowy Michigan

As I prepare to spend another autumn without you….Jesus is asking me to forgive all those who hurt you….and He has paved the road to my forgiveness with such undeniable perfection and detailed precision…..and although He is insisting that I forgive… He is NOT asking me to forget.  And if I remain resistant to forgive….my heart only continues to breed hatred….and I stand as guilty as those who once hated you….and it is not in the act of forgiving… but only in the act of forgetting there exists a risk of growing into the hateful, prideful, and self-righteous “enemy” some once were…and I promise NEVER to become that person…

Your departing last words will always echo loudly deep within my broken heart….For the last word you spoke was my name…..but the second to last word you spoke was His name….and it is now I finally realize and only through His insistence… I must do as He asks of me and forgive…. For the day will soon come when my own mortality catches me in the most unlikely moment and delivers me behind the veil… and there I will finally face my Savior…and this forgiven sinner will fall to her knees and crawl to His feet… but until I do, I will always cling to the hope I will find you there…. finally at rest…and far removed from all the hatred, self-righteousness, and rejection… of this fallen world …….. For love bears all things, believes all things, HOPES all things, and endures all things…

I loved you much………..I love you still….

pic of Bruce with puppy

November 1st, 1957——September 19th, 2006

Biblical Forgiveness

There is excruciating pain in biblical forgiveness though we are commanded to do so by the One we say we follow….

Christ was not protecting the hearts of our perpetrators and/or abusers in this command, but protecting and guarding the hearts of His own children from possibly falling into the great void of further darkness.

Pretty in Pink

one_world_trade_center_pink_for_abortion_810_500_75_s_c1

 

Pretty in pink, or so they say,

Applause and cheer welcomed this terrible fate…

 On such as this… a blood- slaughtering day.

Dress the red-stained city in pink to celebrate this victory …

But rest assured…

This pretty in pink will surely be addressed in history,

As the Father quietly sighs. 

 

Our law-making mothers proudly dressed in white…

 Sit idle with their twisted faces silent and drawn, 

Blinded in their own protest and self-fight.

As they showcase this lighted pink downtown,

Be patient… and be not prideful…

For this pretty in pink will soon be rectified,

As the Father slowly waits.  

 

In self-admitted retaliation to punish a greater foe,

They proudly slaughter the innocent …

 As a basic human right.  

So they silence even the youngest and frailest among us…

But be not deceived…..you all who celebrate, 

This pretty in Pink!

Is truly the Father’s fight. 

 

A premature baby at Groote Schuur hospital. Photo: Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eden

light

 

An ancient writing foretold a King to be born,

This King will rescue His people.

His Love is incomprehensible,

His eternal peace is always sustaining.

His Kingdom is nearing,

An ancient Light coming ever closer.

He will rescue His people,

growing ever weary.

 

He will cease the suffering,

of His believers.

The Gates of Eden,

in all its abundant beauty,

will soon welcome us back home. 

 

Without A Restless Night

grayscale photography of woman holding ultrasound photo

 

If there were no restless nights, no morning dawn could lighten our fears.

Without the snow in winter, no summer breeze could warm our coldest years.

No East could exist without a West,

No right without a left,

No exhale would follow an inhale,

And no breathing could be!

No love would exist without hate,

No beauty without filthy waste,

No female to compliment the male,

And no children we’d see!

baby

If there was absolutely no pain, where would we search for our comfort?

Without an approaching death, no life would ever live to exceed.

No finish without first starting,

No joy without our greatest sorrow,

No all until our absolute nothing,

And no thankfulness to be!

No present without our past,

No young without the old,

No morning without a nightfall,

And no sunrise to ever see!

child at sunrise

Without tears falling from sensitive eyes, no smiles could ever be.

If there were no hard-fought battles, there would be no victory.

Without a disagreement to debate, no one could ever possibly agree.

If noise did not force a quiet refuge, no gratefulness for silence could be.

Without those willing to follow, no leader could lead.

No right without sometimes being wrong,

No peace on Earth without first conflict,

No harmony without a war,

And no powerful country existing to call home!

 No truth without a lie,

No justice without inequality,

And no future perfect Kingdom to come!

No strong to protect the weak,

No white without black,

And all shades in between,

There would simply be none of us for we would’ve long failed to succeed!

Night and Day with text

No goodness without evil,

No reason without doubt,

And no doubt there to even believe!

No safety without injury,

No thirst without drought,

No hero without villain,

And no One King with a Crown!

 

No question without the answer,

No passion without first indifference,

No blessing without curse,

And no lost to be found!

Without a world full of darkness,

There would also be, 

No Light to see!

Much Fruit

Hello Dear Friends…

I am honoring all those today who have been persecuted in the name of our Savior! Polycarp was a brittle old man who loved Jesus and committed no crime!   Please persevere and remember those who have gone before us!  Continue to love, to honor, to walk in the footsteps of our Savior!  And I thank you all…from the bottom of my heart….for taking the time to read my blog! !

 

 

 

JESUS….to the church of Smyrna…

(Early Church tradition dates Revelation to the end of the emperor Domitian (reigned AD 81–96), and most modern scholars agree, although John may have written a first version after Nero’s Great Fire in Rome (AD 64) under Vespasian (AD 69–79) and updated it under Domitian A. D.)

 

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

(Revelation 2:10 ESV)

 

Saint-Polycarp-1

 

Polycarp

…Bishop of Smyrna (A.D. 69-156) 

 

The most succulent fruit you did bear…as your name so well implies,

A believer from youth…until the day they took your life.

Really, how much faith did it take you to utter these words?

To your captors who held you prisoner and wish you to die?

……“But why do you delay? Come, do what you will!”……

This old man in his eighties, could not utter a sound,

Against His Master who died for him and promised a crown.

So loyal, so humble, just wanting to please …

He spoke a final prayer of thankfulness to be thought even worthy…

 To die a martyrs death, against this evil and wicked stance!

They ignite a great flame, to set your decrepit, old body ablaze,

Wishing first to bind you…to insure an even greater demise.

But to their utmost astonishment and serious wonder…

A sweet scent emits… of baked bread and fragrant spice…

…”Leave me as I am. For He who grants me to endure the fire will enable me also to remain on the pyre unmoved, without the security you desire from nails.”… 

They call for a dagger….a mighty weapon used to kill,

How dare this old man refuse to die by our murderous hands!

  Slaughter the one who stands mighty and untouched by flame…

Pierce him…and do not delay,

 For our hunger for this evil play is ever growing.

As they tear your flesh open….shattering tissue and bone

Your slaughtered blood extinguishes the fire that surrounds you…

 As you are savagely brought down…

Polycarp!!

 …your last breath is nearing, keep searching through the flame!

Grab a hold of your Master, and kiss the Feet of your Crown!!!

“Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood, and being attached to one another, joined together in the truth, exhibiting the meekness of the Lord ….”

(Polycarp… in his epistle to the Philippians A. D. 110-140)

One Single Yellow Rose

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for the time you spend visiting my blog!!  My current blog is the result of the inspiration resulting from an empty and lonely Mother’s Day….As I always grieve the death of my own mother who died on October 16th, 1990 …and of the loving and honorable husband I was pray-fully blessed with… who never thought of disrespecting my mother… in ANY WAY!!…. and who honored her on her very last day here on Earth, at the young and tender age of 57,…

With One Single Yellow Rose

..…which he personally placed in her hands!!!  

Our faith in Jesus allows us to long for an eternity where we will be happily reunited with our loved ones in Christ!  Carry on my dear friends in Christ…..the world is full of evil, heartache, and strife….. but have no fear….. for He who lives within us has already conquered this fallen world!!!  

Thank you firstly…. to my blog friends who read my crazy and unprofessional writing even though I only attempt to honor Christ! ….secondly…to my everlasting and faithful husband Brian… who loved my mother so very unconditionally…and last, but certainly not least…. to Stacy…my beloved friend…who through beautiful conversation last night, provided me the inspiration to write this blog!!! 

Please continue to pray for those lost and searching for answers !

Your friend in Christ, 

Kathy 

 

 

 

 

rose 1

 

“The life of mortals’ is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field;

The wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.”

(Psalm 103: 15-16 NIV)

 

One single yellow rose…placed so lovingly in a deceased loved one’s last embrace…..

So very long ago….yet so brilliantly vivid in the ones’ who cherish the memory of that well- lived life left behind.

So soon to depart …and so painful to the ones who remain lingering here…

Free-falling in this sinful land where we,

Who steadfast believe…

And are just passing through to our God-given homeland!!

One single yellow rose…. Found intentionally along the path to that finite farewell….

And clouded in temporary heartache and loss.

A mourning daughter heavily sighs through tears, 

 Unsuspecting and unaware

Of the unconditional motive of the one who greatly respects…

That life once lived….

And, 

 Of the existing life that was brought forth

From her womb.

One single yellow rose…to beautifully represent a life renewed!

 Borne from the scattered and very few yellow roses…

which were handpicked and delivered to her deathbed vase.

 Handpicked… only from the garden she kept…

 Among the prickly weeds and thorns that grew there.

The few yellow roses which flourished just higher among the weeds…

and stood majestic on her doomsday nightstand.

  And the weeds unable to strangle…

The life growing there, 

 of the very last week of her earthly suffering.

 

 

rose 2

 

“Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—

They are like the new grass of the morning;

In the morning it springs up new;

But by evening, it is dry and withered.”

(Psalm 90: 5-6 NIV)

 

One single yellow rose….. Given from the young and vibrant hands of a son in law…

And freely into the now resting hands of a deceased mother in law.

Yet the wind continues to blow in this barren land…

And the evening light fades the vibrant color to only a dimmed black and white,

to those who continually choose to wander here….

But that single yellow rose… 

I know now,

Without any doubt, 

Lives eternally….

No East…

 No West…

Does it even know,

as our fallen world now dictates us all,

This beautiful flower survives,

in all immortal conditions!

Because His Kingdom rules over all ……

 

And that single yellow rose will survive the fall…..

 

His Kingdom will rule….

Forever…and ever!