This month marks the fifth year we’ve been without him. I remember getting the dreaded phone call that informed me of his passing…..it was surreal. My nephew, my brother’s only child, our Mother’s only grandchild. Our hearts have never healed from that loss.
Jay was truly a gift from God. He was our miracle-child. He had so many health issues from birth. But he had the love and prayers of two strong women of faith – both of his Grandmothers. His mother was, and still is, an amazing woman that raised one of the finest young men to grace this planet. Being an educator herself, she made sure he hit the books, knowing education was the key to success. I remember when he was in his last year of middle-school, he was the only “A” student… in the entire school !!! He studied engineering in college, and the firm that he interned with, hired him immediately after graduation.
My nephew had cystic fibrosis. Many of the children born with that infirmity don’t live to see double-digits. But he lived a productive and happy life. His engineering firm was not only well aware of his special medical requirements, they were more than accommodating. In his earlier years, when he needed to travel for his job, they paid for my brother (his Dad) to travel with him to assist him with his daily treatments. Jay met and wed a beautiful young woman and they we blessed with 11 years of marriage. During that time, he underwent a successful double-lung transplant. The surgery went well and it seemed like the future was going to be bright for the both of them.
The opportunity arose for him to work on a project overseas. It was a little risky, but Jay never shied away from anything. His philosophy was to love God, trust Him, and live your life to the fullest every single day. He and his wife decided to accept the position in Germany. He would go over first, and she would join him shortly after that. But he developed an infection in his lungs and he passed away there, with his wife by his side, at the age of 37.
His life was never easy, but he never complained. He knew God could call him home at any time, but he was prepared. He was beloved by everyone he ever met. He had smile that would light up the room and heart the size of Texas (smile). We miss him so much.
Few of us have the forethought to leave words of comfort for their loved ones before they leave this earth. Instead, we are usually left to take on the task of recalling and highlighting the accomplishments of their life’s journey. But not my nephew Jay. He wrote his own obituary, leaving us selfless words of assurance and love. He was a true child of God. It was an honor to have known and loved him. We miss him so very much. And we will see him again……one day.