verse of the day

Monday, January 4, 2010

In Memory of Michael

I am taking a break from my regular postings in honor and memory of my oldest brother, Michael, who on December 26, 2009 started a new life in heaven.  My family has had a difficult week but also one of sweet memories.    

May 26, 1947 - December 26, 2009

My oldest brother, Michael, was a juvenile diabetic that spent his last seven years battling illness, surgeries, rehab and hospitalizations.  His last year was the most difficult as he suffered another stroke that left him unable to swallow and eventually led to a trachea and feeding tube.   He was not able to be home with family the last two Christmases and this was very hard for him.  My husband, children & I spent about an hour with him on the afternoon of Christmas Day singing him Christmas carols, his favorite being Silent Night.   He was sedated but knew we were there, he mouthed Merry Christmas when we said it to him with our goodbyes.  It was a very sweet memory that we will treasure.  

The following is my tribute to him that I read at his funeral December 30, 2009.

"My big brother was one of the stongest, most courageous fighters that I know.  His illness never stopped him from loving life and loving us.  His strong will to live gave him the ability to endure 7 years of illness, surgeries, rehab (aka PhysTherapy which in his humor he called Pain & Torture) and hospitalizations.
We tend to wonder why someone has to endure such trials in their lives.   But we are each given the ability to put our faith to the test and God knows just how much we can handle.  Isaiah 55: 8-9 tells us:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 I remember Michael asking, "why" early on during one of his hospitalizations when he was faced with one of his amputations.  I shared a verse with him from Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  Plans not to harm you but give you a hope and a future.
Michael's illness and struggling may not have been our ways but it may have been God's way of getting his attention.  It wasn't too long after this that he may a profession of faith.  And based upon that trust/hope that he put in Christ- we can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Michael IS in heaven face to face with the Lord- whole and no longer suffering.
Christmas was Michael's favorite time of year & I believe that God gave Michael a Christmas gift by taking him home to be with Him.
Michael's witty humor, love for his family, teasing, gourmet cooking and so many other things* will be missed but he will remain FOREVER in our hearts."
* service to the community. Christmas holidays, fighting over the calamari, love of music, the stubborness that kept him going, the twinkle in his eye, his smile (even when in pain), pet nicknames, and when he would pick up the phone to check on his family when they were going through difficulties (despite his own issues).


  1. Oh Judi, I am so, so sorry to hear of your news. I am trying not to cry just thinking about it, but he IS in a place of healthy bodies and pure joy. I rejoice with you that he was able to give his life over to the Lord. But the pain for those left behind is still real -- what a wonderful tribute you've written for him. You are definitely in my prayers.

  2. Judi,
    My heart hurts for you and your family. We do know he is in a far better place. Please know I will keep him and you and my prayers.

    God Bless,

  3. Judi...please accept my sincere condolences for you and your family on the loss of your beloved Michael. May God bless you all as you know He has already blessed your brother.


  4. I am so sorry, I left a comment last night, but something happened to it. I am very relieved to know that you have a blessed assurance from the great Comfoter at this very sad time. Love, Lezlee

  5. Thank you my blogging friends, you're messages & prayers are treasures to me. Our family is doing well- his wife, stepdaughter, mom & dad, siblings, nieces & nephews- though we were preparing for this, it was still sudden.
    Eccl 3:1-8

  6. God Bless your brother and you and your family Judi. I am so very sorry for your loss.


  7. Judi - isn't it amazing that God gives us emotions?! I don't know you or this wonderful man that you call 'Brother", but I type this through tears of sadness and tears of joy that he is finally pain free with all those who believed and went before him.

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog about the passing of my Father-in-Law. I appreciate you taking the time to post on my blog.


  8. He must have loved having you with him on Christmas day. He sounds like he was a blessing to you and your family.

  9. Your brother is in heaven with my Daddy~

    What a wonderful place to be, with our Lord.

    Sweet post.


  10. I just found your blog and just had to click on the sidebar as I had a feeling it was going to be your brother. I lost my only brother 15 years ago to ALS. Gosh, can't believe it's been that long. I miss not having him in my life. My heart goes out to you. {hugs}


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