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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

On My Brother's Death

[This is the message I received from my sister December 6th, 2017. My older brother Bill’s death was close and we were praying for him. Dennis]

(Carol, sister to Billy and Dennis wrote) Today Billy has low blood pressure, a fever, and a high heart rate. The hospice person thinks he'll pass away sometime today.

(Dennis) Thank you, Carol. May the Lord have His way. Billy is going to a better place where there is no more death, nor crying, nor pain, where time shall be no more and God shall wipe away every tear from our eyes. Yes, there are tears in Heaven, when we realise the wrongs we've committed, the hurt we are responsible for, the pain we caused others. But God promises to wipe away all those tears, and even promises that we'll remember them no more, for the former things will pass away and He will make all things new. Jesus is our only hope. All life has to offer is ashes and vanity in comparison. Our prayer is and has been that Billy has made his restitution with God, that he has gotten things right as much as possible, that he has kept his faith in Christ Jesus.

We pray for his family, that this time will help them each to reevaluate their lives and the path they are walking and that they may choose to follow God closer, nearer, every day. That they may choose to deepen their relationship with Jesus, strengthen their commitment with God, and further their knowledge of their Savior, Redeemer, Lover and Friend. We pray this all in Jesus' name, for there's none other name under Heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved, for He is the way, the truth and the life. And whosoever believes on Him shall be saved, for He is the resurrection and the life, and all that believe on Him shall never die, but shall have everlasting life.

That's His promise and it's more sure than anything we can touch or see. And eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither has it entered in to the heart of man the things God has prepared for those that love Him. He is the author and finisher of our faith, the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last. Let us embrace Him, let us draw nigh to Him in these moments of contemplation, these moments of reflection. Let us lift up our hands in praise and thanksgiving that another of His children has returned home. Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast, there no harm shall meet us, there we shall find sweet rest. In Jesus' name, Amen.

(Friend) I found your response comforting.

(Dennis) It's God's truth, written in His love letter to us called the Bible. Feed on it and it will bring life, and light, and strength, and hope, and love, and faith, and guidance, and courage, and instruction, and correction and wisdom and all things necessary for here and hereafter.

(Friend) I realize that its God's plan and the cycle of life. But it’s so difficult to understand the pain for those left behind.

(Dennis) Pain is a human experience and it causes us to seek God for release from pain. May those enduring pain seek His face. He has promised to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who will comfort and enable us afterwards to comfort others with the comfort with which we have been comforted by God.

C.S.Lewis wrote a short book about pain. I think it is called, The Problem with Pain. I’ll see if I can find a link to it. It might be worth your read.

(Friend) Yes, I’d like that. I’ll find it on Amazon.

(Dennis) Here's a quote from C.S.Lewis on being vulnerable. He wrote, "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the caskit or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable."

(Another Friend) I tried that and my life ended up a mess.

(Dennis) But that is why, if you take that mess to Jesus, He can mend the broken pieces and make them useful for His kingdom. "If your heart is breaking, turn to Jesus. He's the dearest friend that you can know. You will find Him standing close besides you waiting peace and comfort to bestow. (Chorus) Heartaches take them all to Jesus. Go to Him today, do it now without delay. Heartaches take them all to Jesus, He will take your heartaches all away. 2nd verse: There is joy for every troubled sorrow. Sweet release for every bitter pain. Jesus Christ is still the Great Physician, no one ever sought His help in vain. (Chorus) 3rd verse: Jesus understands what 'er the trouble. And He waits to heal your wounded soul. Will you trust His love so strong and tender? He alone can heal your wounded soul. (Chorus) Heartaches, take them all to Jesus, Go to Him today do it now without delay. Heartaches, take them all to Jesus, He will take your heartaches all away." Listen to the song here.

(Friend) crying

(Dennis) Like the Scriptures say, "All things work together for good to them that love God." The key is for us to learn to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is the first commandment, and the second is like unto it, love thy neighbor as thyself. This is what we are here to learn. It's all a process of drawing us closer to our Creator, the one who made us, made this beautiful world, came into it to literally show us the way, and died so that we could freely enter into relationship with Him.

He's the author and finisher of our faith, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, the very "I Am that I Am." If we seek Him with all our heart and mind and soul, and strength, we will find Him and He will come to us and be our Comfort, our Lover, and our Friend. He is the All and All of everything, and anything we put before Him will never satisfy us no matter how much we try.

Spend time talking to Jesus today. Go for a walk by the beach or along a river and as you're absorbing the tranquillity of His creation, talk to Him. Pour out your soul, your complaint and then listen. Let Him talk to you. Pick up your Bible and read some psalms. Then read something from the New Testament and begin to renew your relationship with Jesus through His word. It's a love letter to you.

(Friend) Thank you

(Dennis) Abraham Lincoln said, “In regards to this great Book [the Bible], I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man.All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it.”

(Another friend) I saw Carol's post about Bill's passing. Sorry for your loss, I hope you have warm memories of him. My thoughts are with you Dennis.

(Dennis) Thank you. Death is a great equaliser and a sober moment of reflection. We ask, "What have I done with my life?" "Have I done what God has called me to do?" "Have I loved sufficiently?" "Have I been generous and kind-hearted?" My brother said he had no regrets and was happy for the life he had lived. I think we all want to face death's door in confidence that we have done what we could to make the world a better place, even if only in our small circle of influence. My brother's friend's comments are his greatest testimony. His step-daughter's comments are his greatest testimony. In the later years of his life he was working as a janitor in a grammar school and loved to help the little kids when he could. Although my own relation with my brother was distant from living outside the States for so many years, nevertheless we can see he loved and was loved. 

"Ah, sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee!
Ah, at last I’ve found the reason for it all!
Ah, ‘tis love and love alone the whole world yearns for,
And ‘tis love that bids us heed Thy call!"
—Rida Johnson Young (1869-1926), “Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life” (adapted)[1]

 Long live love!

Here's another poem by Franklin E. Belden, 1892.

’Tis love that makes us happy,
’Tis love that smoothes the way;
It helps us mind, it makes us kind
To others every day.
Refrain:
God is love; we’re His happy children;
God is love; we would be like Him.
’Tis love that makes us happy,
’Tis love that smoothes the way;
It helps us mind, it makes us kind
To others every day.
This world is full of sorrow,
Of sickness, death, and sin;
With loving heart we’ll do our part,
And try some soul to win.
And when this life is over,
And we are called above,
Our song shall be, eternally,
Of Jesus and His love.[2]

The following are some of the beautiful comments about my brother from the people who knew him the best! 

Debra Addy wrote,
Dearest Aunt Pat and Jillian, words cannot express how sorry for your loss I am 😢. I will always treasure my memories of Christmas Eve with both you and Uncle Mo singing Christmas Carols 🙂. Let’s not forget spinach dip! There was never ever a visit without Uncle Mo making it for me and of course for him, lol. He was such a good man, always so calm and would give the best advice! I’m so thankful to have been able to call him Uncle Mo 😢😘 May he finally be at peace 😢 Please find comfort in the fact that it was so obvious that you both were his pride and joy, he loved you both so much! I will always miss my Uncle Mo 😢

Linda Veit
Dearest Patty and family, My thoughts and prayers have been and will remain with all of you. My heart hurts for all of you during this sad and difficult time, however I know that Mo is now at peace and is resting with our Lord. I will miss my friend and "Yankee Buddy" but have wonderful and special memories as I look back over the many years of our friendship. I will always remember our trip to the original Yankee stadium and will cherish the thoughts and memories of that day with you and Mo. Please know I am here for you and during the difficult times let the Lord hold you in the palm of his hand. My sincere condolences to you, Jillian, Dan, Danny, and all of Mo's family and friends. With sympathy, peace, and love, Linda

Susan Merriam
Dear Patti & Jill and family, We are so sorry for your loss and would like you to know that in the short time we have known Mo and you as our neighbors, Mo definitely left an impact on us with his special sense of humor, his quick smile,witty remarks, and friendly easy style . He was one of a kind and always ready to invite us over to his sports den in the garage to have a beer !! We loved him and you immediately. Please find comfort in your wonderful memories and look to God for your strength in the days ahead . Much love , your neighbors and friends Sue & Carlton Merriam

Wayne Nelson
My sincerest condolences. Bill was a leading brother in our fraternity in Montclair State. He was always there to lend a hand, participate, and help others. A ready smile when he was seemingly always on the verge of a humorous insight, prank, and laughter. May we all leave such memories when we reach the finish line of life. Be at peace, Bill. You will be sorely missed. Wayne Nelson Gamma Delta Chi MSC '70

Bob Piotrowski
Patti, So sorry to hear that Mo has passed away. It's been 5 years, but seems like yesterday, that Mo and I were able to reunite at the Gamma reunion at Tierney's . It was terrific seeing him again and meeting you, the love of his life! After our college years, we were "travel" buddies for a bit. One trip started out to Cooperstown. On the fly, we then added the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton and ended in Saint Louis, visiting his sister, who was in Ohio, on the way back. There were also many trips to the shore. Every time Donna and I leave the Tropicana in AC, I think of Mo! We pass Tony's Baltimore Bar and Grill, where we made a few visits in the pre-casino days. He was a great guy and I have many other fond memories that I will cherish. Rest in Peace Mo....Gamma Brothers Forever! Bob Piotrowski

You can watch the memorial video made of him at this link: William A. Molinski III

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