This is honoring my brother-in-law, Robert. He passed away in his sleep, and the family had his funeral today. Some of the relatives are friends on facebook, and so I will post this for them, hoping that it will encourage them. Robert married my oldest sister, and I believe that they were married 46 years, upon his passing. He spent 4 years in the Navy, and then enlisted for 4 years in the Army, and then he would meet my sister.
They had two sons. And later grandchildren. They loved him a lot, as he did them. When I was a teenager, and in the early twenties, Robert and I went fishing a lot, and occasionally hunting. He got me a lot of work, on farms, and then later construction work. He was always looking for ways to help people, and he did me. Two of the memorable fishing adventures, and one memorable hunting adventure, I will share.
We had a go at 'gigging', (which was illegal) in my early teens. We would enter into a creek, at a certain point, and work our way down the creek, and then follow a railroad bed to get back out, when finished in the creek. He had some lanterns that we could fasten around our head, and we could see in the dark, and gig the fish while in the water. One night we were working our way down the creek, and we came upon a fairly good sized fish. First Robert had a go at it. And then the fish swam over toward me. I had a go at it. Neither one of us could get it, and the fish kept swimming, and the two of us kept going at it. The fish was so confused that it swam out of the water, and onto the bank. Well, that done it in, and the catch was made:)
Another time we decided to go to a pond, he knew about, down in a hollow, and do some night-fishing. I had just purchased a flashlight, that was rechargeable, and supposed to be the wave of the future. We hiked down into that hollow, and started fishing. Just a short while into our fishing, it got cloudy, and started thundering and lightening. We stayed as long as we should have, and longer, and then saw that we needed to hurry out of there. Robert could walk about as fast as a deer could run, when things got dangerous, and he was away and gone, and I was left to try and keep up. The light worked well, for a while, but it kept getting dimmer, and dimmer, and dimmer. About half way out of there, it had gotten so dim, I had to strain to see my feet on the ground. Robert, meanwhile, never looked back, and was nowhere in sight. I had to feel my way out, and some of that feel was briers, and holes, and ditches, and barbed-wire fence:)
Robert got an interest in racoon-hunting, and would go with his uncle. One night he decided I needed to go with him. We let the dogs out, and off they went. They got far off into a deep hollow, and just kept getting farther. He called for them, but they just kept going further into the wilderness of the night. Well, he said, we had to go get them. Armed with a better light this time, we set off into the unknown. It seemed to me we walked about four miles, before we caught them confused racoon hounds. We never saw what they were chasing, and it may have been a racoon, and it may not have been. We finally put a leash on the dogs, and started pulling them back to where we got in. Well, the problem was, the dog I had was strong as an ox, and would take me off on a detour, which was over logs, under logs, ditches, briers, water, and anything else it decided it wanted to drag me through. I decided I did not like racoon-hunting, nor his dogs, and didn't go again:) It won't let me use the 'southern' name for them:(
Robert was a friend to all, and always willing to help one in need. He was raised in the Nazarene church, though not a faithful attendee of one. But I know a lot of people who are faithful attendees, and do less for others than he always did. Finally, I will close this with part of a verse from the scripture. James 1:27. "To visit the fatherless and widows in their afflictions". This, Robert did, and he did well. It was not an occasional visit either, it was his life. During his time in the hospital, he called for his favorite pastor, and they prayed, and talked about what Robert needed to do. It was an honor to know him. May he rest now, in peace.
Anyhow, funerals are reminders, that we will not be here that long. And if Christ tarries, we will all go to a final resting place. And all that really matters, we will account for, and come out of those holding places, whereever they are. And that really is why we are here. God Bless.