Every time I have tried to sit down to write this post I have not been able to do it. So today, I am going to try my hardest to get it done.
My brother Joel passed from this earth into Heaven for all eternity on Friday, May 31st, 2013 at the age of 41. He had a long struggle with metastatic colon cancer and finally has relief and healing from his pain and suffering. It was hard to see him suffer for such a time and to such a degree. And yet, every time I spoke with him or saw him in person he seemed to handle his suffering with much grace. He was usually more concerned with me and how I was doing than he was with himself. And that is just the kind of guy he was - one to look out for others. He exemplified love and compassion to all kinds of people and animals his whole life, and everyone who ever met him loved him. Joel was a loving son, brother, husband, father and friend. He is greatly missed here, even though we know that he is celebrating new life in Heaven.
In his last days and months, Joel was telling everyone he knew where his hope was. He was telling them all about how he was reading 1 Corinthians 15 in the Bible and that his hope was in Heaven and the resurrection of Christ. Oh to be so bold as he was...I am inspired and also encouraged. When we lost our little Solveig, Joel was deeply saddened. He couldn't understand why such a thing would happen to us. And he wanted so much for us to be able to have another baby. Joel was so excited when our little Squeaker was born this April. We had prayed that God would allow Squeaker to be born perhaps just a little bit early so that he could meet his Uncle Joel before he died. God answered our prayers. 11 days after Squeaker was born, Erik and I drove down with our little guy to see Joel and his family. We had a really special visit...
There are more things I'd like to say about Joel and I hope to do so very soon. Thank you to everyone for praying for all of us as we're grieving the loss of my brother. Please be praying for Joel's wife and their three children. The kids are here in these pictures. We love them all very much and their loss hurts our hearts more than our own.