Posted by: Bro Jer | September 4, 2010

3rd of September and greif

Gordon John Kohlbrand

I can not remember much about September 3rd, 1962, it was just a few weeks after my seventh birthday. Guess I am hoping that something buried deep may come to mind as I write. Can see my older brothers all dressed up. Dave and George were almost twenty five years older than me. They were from my fathers first marriage and I never really got to know them when I was young. There were fireman all dressed up in their finest uniforms and all the children from the first grade class at Annunciation School were there. I can see my dads casket in the front of the church. No idea what it looks like or just cannot remember. I was not allowed to go into the funeral home before he was taken to the church. Mom made me stay outside. She died May 15th, 1978 at 54. Dad was only 52. Always have resented that I did not get to see dad at the layout. Maybe she thought it was the best thing.

There are parts of the ride from the church to the graveside I can remember. I was in the car with my brother, David, and his wife Marleen. Going through red ligts and the long line of cars with the police escort. Cannot really remember anything at the cemetery. Not the prayers or the lowering of the casket. I do see, as I am writing this, my mom sitting in a chair and one of the fireman giving her the folded flag from his casket. I still have that flag in a box about ten feet from me. Besides the few memories that I do have of my father, what is in that box is all there is, all that is left of his journey. A small box. Think I will get that out and look, have not done that for a few years.

There is a certificate from President Kennedy. It is an auto-signed one but from the White House just the same. Have the envelope it came in with the stamp and post-mark. Dad was in the second world war and had been at the battle of Midway. I know that, and some of the details, only because I requested his war records. Mom never talked much of the past. He was given a  badge at retirement from the Cincinnati Fire Division that is here, an early retirement since he had lung cancer, and it allowed him to get into Reds games at Crosley Field for the cost of the federal tax, (go figure) discounts at other events and perks at some stores. The book with all the names of those who came to the layout, many of the cards that were on flowers, some old film, should get those developed. A picture of dad, probably the best one I have. Need to put that in a frame and display it.

Anywho…could go on about some of the personal things that I am sitting here reflecting on. Maybe I will some other time. For now, will just keep it to myself. This song always makes me think of dad. LOL, really get into the congas in the song.

Over the years I have had the honor of helping a number of people die at home and have been present with friends and family when the decision was made to remove life support. For me, it really is an honor when someone can trust you at such a weak, personal and  sometimes embarrassing time. A time when someone who may have been so strong, the pillar, is now weak and vulnerable. I have seen the power of God in those moments of grieving. I have also seen the anger and rage that such a time can bring in a person. Death seems to make no sense at all, if we do not know and understand, Jesus, and the power of the death and resurrection! For to really know the Lord, is to really understand in some way, the deeper meaning of life and death. It is in there… that I find joy in the sorrow, meaning in what seems meaningless, freedom, and to understand a little… 2 Cor 12: 9-10 “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.  I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I have told all of my children when we have had a friend or relative die, “dying is a sad thing, it is not a bad thing”!

So, as I look back and grieve my dad, more the time not spent than his death, I look forward to the finish line. Sure, with some fear and trepidation, gezz come on…pain sucks LOL, but also with an expectation, a certain excitement, to be in eternity with our Lord and Savior!

Be weak in self, my brothers and sisters, so that the Lord can be strong in YOU! Be vulnerable,  so that you are open to that Strength from on high!  We each have been designed and created with a specific call. Jeremiah 5 says…”Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”  Jesus has a perfect plan for each one of us. HE KNEW YOU! ME! He dedicated and appointed…US! How wicked bad Kewl is that!! Let us encourage each other to fullylive out that call,  so that we may be a witness, a spectacle, a stumbling block in  “the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world”…!

PBJ-Peace be da Journey, brothers and sisters!

In Christ, Bro Jer

ok, wayyyyyyyyyyy to serious and out of context for the Bro…will have to immediately go see what I can stir UP! 😉

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