Today was a sad day. Misty and I traveled to Rocky Mount for Mike’s brother’s funeral, John Jefferson Akers Jr. or JJ as he was called by many of his friends. Misty ended up staying at Mike’s moms house and keeping Christopher and Victoria, she is a great wife. Three hours at the funeral home is much more than a 2 and 3 year old can be expected to handle. I appreciate Misty caring that I could be there for Mike and that Mike and Caitlin could be with the family.
I noticed several things today. There is a lot more weeping at the fneral of a young person. Not because they are loved more but just for the fact that young people are supposed to live full and long lives. I will say again that it was a sad day. Mothers are not supposed to live longer than their children. It’s just not the natural course of nature. It is so hard to lose a brother or sister at such a young age and I say that from experience. When I was 23 my sister was killed and she was only 26. I just realized that is just about the same age of Mike and John. That never crossed my mind until this moment. Judy left behind 2 young boys and John left behind 4 little boys. I will never forget the pain and frustration along with the questions that I had and still ask questions all these years later.
The preacher did a good job with the service for John. He spoke about John’s sense of humor and his ability to bring laughter and joy into the lives of those around him. When he said that I thought of Mike, he has the best personality of anybody that I know and I don’t say that just because he is my son. Mike always has a smile and a kind word to say to anyone at anytime and that is the same way that JJ was described. John was full of life and yet he died so young, so much promise and so many plans.
The preacher spoke about the fact that JJ, Mike and Becca all attended the church where he is on staff when they were much younger. It is so important that we as the church reach out to the children in our communities. It is comforting to know that they were in church together and able to hear the Gospel preached.
There were good memories that were shared and the pastor said that is where we find strength and comfort, in the stories, the good memories that we all have of our loved ones after they have died.
I went today not having known JJ except through Mike telling me about him for the past 10 years. Mike has fond memories of he and JJ as well as Becca and Nicole growing up as brothers and sisters. They always took up for each other and drew strength from one another. When Mike came to live with me JJ was his hero and in many ways that will never change.
I will share more thoughts later but I just want to say as I do often. I am the most blessed man in the world. I have an Awesome family that I love with all my heart and they love me. I would lay down my life for my family. I feel the hurt of Mike, Linda, Becca, Nicole and all John’s friends and I wish there was more that I could do. Let those around you know they are loved, don’t just tell them, spend time with them, do things with them, just sit and talk with them. One of the greatest things that I do is sit and have talks with Mike.
I love you Mike, I understand your pain and wish I could stop the hurt but I will walk with you through it.