Last night about 8:00pm on January 18th, 2015… my brother died after years of fighting various chronic health issues. Over the last few months, Donny struggled with congestive heart failure, diabetes, and depression. I loved my brother and at this moment, the thing that brings me peace is the confidence that I have in knowing he was a Christian. I am convinced that he was saved and now enjoys the splendor of a heavenly home that is pain free and full of wondrous peace. In some small way, I want to share a few things with you that you may be unaware of. This will be a memorial to him. The photo used for this article was one that I took of Donny a few years ago when he was in better health. I took it outside his home as we were preparing to go have lunch together. This is something that we tried to do every month or two.
- Given that Donny was hindered with many health issues, it might surprise you to know that when he was an older teenager, Donny was an Eagle Scout and championship swimmer.
- When we were kids, I often watched with amazement as Donny sketched people and abstract art with pencil, pen, and paper. As a small child, I idolized his artistic abilities and that is one reason that I have enjoyed art, sketching, and photography in my life.
- When Donny graduated high school, he studied Judo.
- Even though Donny had not been a faithful “church goer” over the later years of his life, when he was younger, he sang in the choir and taught Sunday School at times. He and I have had many spiritual conversations over the years and I know that he loved the Lord, even though he struggled with the traditional church environment. Just days before he died, Donny would sit and sing old country and gospel songs there in the room at the rehab center, often drawing a crowd of nurse’s aides and nurses who would applaud him afterwards.
- When Donny worked at Porter Cable many years ago, he often drove the “company” engineers crazy with his knowledge of machine setup and applied engineering. He was not always right, but often he was.
- He had a great love and appreciation for computer technology. We talked about this a lot and often worked through problems together.
- At one time in his life, Donny was an avid rabbit hunter and a crack shot.
Maybe one or two of the items above brought a smile to your face or conjured up a pleasant memory… I hope so. Donny, like all of us, was not a perfect person. He had his own quirks… as we all do. However, he was always a good provider for his family and worked hard for most of his life. As I wrap this up, I am thinking ahead to the funeral service that will take place in a couple of days. When I think of my brother, I will choose to remember the good things and good times we had together, I know that in a little while, I will see him again in a better place. I know that he would also encourage you to be sure you have your own salvation worked out in your heart. God bless you and thank you for reading this article.
I love you Donny, see you on the other side.