This week a wonderful man passed from this life into the next. He left behind a wife and two children. But he also left behind hundreds of friends and more memories than can be counted. There aren't words to express the amazing happenings from his room at hospice this past week, but they will be memories I will always carry with me.
It didn't take long after meeting Jared, for me to know that he loved his family wholeheartedly and that singing was a huge part of his life. His love for God was apparent in all that he did. From our first meeting I liked him and was glad to call him my friend. He and his wife, Amy, are members of our church choir and frequently sang in the ensemble. He was a fireman and had loved firetrucks even as a child. It seems he was born to be a fireman. His children said he was great at being a dad. What a wonderful legacy to leave.
He loved deeply and was deeply loved. His fellow firemen collected money and sent the family on a trip to Hawaii earlier this year. They were able to make memories that will have to last his family a lifetime. He was able to attend the father - daughter dance in February. So many memories to carry with them.
Today was the funeral and it was an amazing service. Because Jared knew his disease was terminal, he had the opportunity to plan his own memorial service. The songs, scripture and who he wanted to speak. But the most amazing thing was he recorded a video message to those in attendance. It was totally Jared. He always liked to joke and laugh. He even found a bit of humor in this final recording. He was able to speak directly to his wife and children, one last time to tell them how much he loves them. He thanked co-workers and friends. But most importantly he was able to express his faith and belief in God. He encouraged us to search our hearts and make sure we each have a personal relationship with Jesus. He assured his family he will see them in heaven, where he has been healed, is without pain and disease free. His final concern was to share Jesus with all those he loves and the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus. (John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.) He spoke of life being a vapor with no promise of tomorrow. (James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.) He was concerned about others right up to the end.
I admire him, am honored to have known him. Jared I miss you my friend, rest in God and I will see you again one day.