The Joey I Know

My brother, Joey, moved to Heaven recently. Our family will be adjusting to life without him here in the physical for a long time. He had a lot of health issues, but this came suddenly to us. As it is a lot of times we weren’t ready for it. Thankfully we know that he is in Heaven worshiping his Lord and Savior, Jesus, and enjoying family and friends who went before him. Those of us who know Jesus as Lord and Savior will definitely see him again when it’s our time to move there.

Joey had a sweet nature and loved people. It was important to him in his later years especially to share Jesus with them. He wanted to know that they understood and knew where they were going when they passed into the next part of their eternity. In that way, I want to be more like him.

I have very few memories before Mama was pregnant with him. We grew up together on a farm doing chores, making mud pies and “frog house villages” in the sand bed, riding our bikes, playing in our tree house, spinning tales and dreaming dreams, then riding horses and hunting when we were older. Joey and I helped in the family gardens of our grandparents, learned how to plant, weed, and harvest whatever was ready at a given time. Several times over our adult years we both agreed that we treasured the childhood we had and wouldn’t trade it for anything any more than we would ever consider trading each other for a different sibling. Simply put, we loved one another very much.

I could write a book of the memories we shared as we sat around Mama’s and Daddy’s dinner table, sitting on Joey’s front porch, or at some family gathering. As a matter of fact, he has said that very thing and we had been compiling our memories from our earliest years on. Between the two of us, we have a host of treasures stored on that manuscript. I’m going to miss reminiscing with him digging up those special times. I’ll go through the natural stages of grief, but I’m not going to waste time in sadness and depression. I have hope.

I know where he is, and that I will see him again. It’s lonesome in a way without him here in the physical, and that’s normal. I hear his laughter, see his sweet smile, and hear his voice as he shared a faith experience, reminisced with me, or told some tall tale that made us all laugh. He left a lasting mark on my life as well as many others. He would be disappointed if he thought any of us weren’t carrying on in a way that we should that would honor God. So, I’ll do my best to do so and hopefully I will leave a witness that will lead others to Jesus as he tried to.

Life is short, so have a truly blessed life.

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