As we fly up to the skies and across the horizon where the birds fly, a calmness surrounds me.   The brightness of the sun shines through our airplane window, and the soft puffy clouds invite peace and comfort as we fly higher than the clouds.  As we travel on our journey to say goodbye to my husband’s little brother, I desperately want to stay in the comfort of the white puffy clouds, and not face the dark clouds we are about to fly into.

Then, it happens.  A glimpse of a silver lining that comes from losing a loved one.  As we surround ourselves with family, the amazing stories of Alex begin.  I listened to his Mom tell the story of how she believed Alex was a miracle baby.  Her doctors told her it was impossible to get pregnant, and she traveled to Canada for a procedure to make it happen.  I then listened to other family members refer to Alex as Santa Claus…and wondered why?  They went onto explain that Alex was a genuine GIFT in their lives.  He touched so many with his presence, patience, kindness, forgiveness, humility, and smile. On the day that God called him home, Alex started a chain of events where family healing begins.

When we laid Alex to rest, the sun was shining and the birds were singing in the 70 degree California sky.  We all transitioned into dark gray clouds that rolled into our beings, and rain began to fall from our eyes.  The trumpet salutes to honor Alex for his Coast Guard duty, and memories flooded our minds as the flag was delicately folded and handed to his wife.  The pastor speaks words of hope and strength into our lives, and reads a testimony from a friend of how Alex possessed many of the same characteristics of Jesus.   Alex was so loved, and touched people at a deeper level where true friendships are formed, family is rooted in forgiveness and healing, and where he will be forever remembered as a loving husband that was a present of sacrifice for the rest of the family.  Until we meet again where everyone comes home to the place higher than the clouds…and there is no more pain.

Ephesians 2:8  for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory.