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! 


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


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