Jeff and my son went to high school together — at least for two years. Jeff was a junior when my son was in 8th grade. They played in the school band together, and later formed a little band of their own for a year. They got a few gigs at parish fairs and a wedding or two.
Jeff was was one of those young people that everyone liked. The teachers loved him; he was popular with the other students, and I loved him – and still do, even though I haven’t seen him in about 15 years. You just don’t forget someone like Jeff.
He especially won my heart by how kind he was to my son. Even though 3 years is a huge age difference for teens, he often invited my son to a game of frisbee or flag football or whatever else he had cooked up to get the guys together.
After completing college, he returned to his old high school to teach religion class, and that is what he did for the next decade or so. The kids loved him, I hear.
The girls loved him too, with his head full of dark curls and his luminous green eyes. And, his kind and gentle ways. He waited a long time to find his bride, but finally, last year at the age of 35, he and Kathy were married.
The honeymoon was cut short. Jeff wasn’t feeling well. But no one expected the diagnosis.
Lymphoma, I was told. I know several people who survived that. My next door neighbor for one.
But, not Jeff.
It’s in his bones now, and probably his brain. He has to wear an eye patch. His young bride, who never had a chance to be a wife, will soon be a widow. Jeff is dying. Weeks maybe, or days from now.
His hospital room was chocked full of friends Saturday night, when he signed the DNR order. He didn’t want to burden his bride with that decision.
The world needs people like Jeff. What a wonderful husband and father he would have been. What a great son and brother and friend he is.
God’s ways are not our ways. I’m so glad that Jeff knows Jesus, and that he spent his short career teaching young men about God.
I’m glad that he played the drums with my son, and that he passed our way in life. They say the good die young. If that is true, Jeff is leaving on time.
The upright, though he die before his time, will find rest.
Having come to perfection so soon, he has lived long;
his soul being pleasing to the Lord,
he has hurried away from the wickedness around him.
Wisdom 4: 7, 13-14
Please say a prayer for Jeff and his family. Thank you.