He would be 26 years old today. In my imagination he would be a college graduate. Can I picture him living anywhere but on the Mississippi Gulf Coast? No. He still lives there and keeps up with all of his friends who have remained there. By now he’s married and his children are amazing. He works hard … maybe at the hospital as a nurse or in some field that centered around compassion to others. He makes choices sometimes that make me frown, but a lot of them that make me smile. Every chance he gets he takes his family to North Georgia to visit his sister and her kids. He calls me and his mom sometimes just to talk and never lets a phone call end without telling us he loves us. We’d like to hear from him and see him more often, but he works hard and his family is his first priority. You might find them huddled around a table at the Waffle House after church on Sunday nights or playing together at Beach Park in Pascagoula.
That’s the way it should have been.
But that’s just all in my imagination, because seven years ago on May 21st John Robert left this life. He walked through the door to the other side and awaits our arrival with his grandparents, family, and friends. His faith was in Christ, grace washing over his faults in testimony to the power of the cross.
On this day instead of reflecting on the outstanding man he has become … we rehearse memories of the outstanding boy he was. And he really was. Maggy and I will travel to see the last earthly connection we have with him. A marker in a field with many markers. But our hope is somewhere else. We sang it this past Sunday – and it was printed on his funeral program.
On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand…
So when our knees give out and the tears flow down our cheeks, we lean on the Savior who makes sense of life. We tell Him how we feel and what we think He could have done for our son. Then we remember that He knows our pain, and He will set all things right one day.
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.” ~Revelation 21:5-6
The story hasn’t been written yet … not all of it. So we invite friends and family to join us as we follow the only Risen Savior.
Our memories from the time of our greatest grief are often fuzzy and we could never thank every person by name but we remember so many who reached out to us, served us, loved us … both on the Coast and in Monroe … and around the world. Thank you. Even those of you we may not recall clearly, your love provided a piece of the mosaic of healing that began that day and continues until Christ comes again. We honor you by offering consolation and support to those who experience the pain of loss, especially through The Compassionate Friends and the beautiful Body of Christ, the Church.
I wrote about John Robert’s life and placed some videos with lots of pictures of him and his family and friends HERE.