August 4, 2012
Welcome to our Saturday meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. Be sure to visit her to read other bloggers’ Sabbath Moments.
An untimely death
Jay (not his real name) didn’t know when he awoke on August 2nd that he would drown in the lake before six that evening. We have never known anyone with as much drama in his life as Jay had.
Hubby and I first hired him to help us with landscaping and yard projects in the spring of 2011. We found him to be a hard and capable worker who would do anything to please. A single father, he had a severely autistic 19 yr. old son and an 11 year old daughter who was born without a palate and had many surgeries to correct the problem. He lived for those kids. We got to know them a little, too, when he brought them with him to work a few times. Just a couple of weeks ago I placed his boy’s name on an international prayer list for autistic children, but hadn’t had occasion to tell Jay. He would have really appreciated that because he was a strong Christian, although not Catholic, and was a good example of living with trust in God.
Many people will feel the loss of his cheerful and kind presence. He would help anybody do anything, and was especially good with older people like us because he was raised that way. Several times he told us of how his mother would send him and his brother down the street to help an elderly lady with her garden. Although poor himself, he often gave items to a charity organization in the next town. Things people would give to him that he didn’t need but thought others could use.
This May was the last time we saw Jay. He came to finish repairing a retaining wall and said his mother had fallen and broken her collarbone and wrist. Of course, he was in the middle of everything shoring up the family. There was no one else healthy enough to step into the breach to take care of the little things that always pop up in a situation like this. His brother is on borrowed time suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and Jay frequently packed the kids up and drove about an hour to help him out whenever he called.
I was worried about Jay’s mother and tried to call him a couple of times in May to learn how she was doing, but had to leave voice messages that weren’t returned. Several times we drove by his trailer, but he wasn’t there. Something was really wrong, I thought, and I was right. His mom passed away as we discovered this morning when we were searching for news of Jay’s funeral.
It turns out no services are planned for Jay. Probably because there isn’t any money in the family and he was poor with his only assets being the small trailer he lived in with his kids, his truck, and an old 1991 Acura somebody gave him for a few hundred dollars. He put everything he had into caring for the kids and lived on the edge. It looks like the county may bury him.
When I read the news article about the drowning, it said that Jay was intoxicated, went swimming, went under and didn’t surface. Fortunately his kids were with the maternal grandmother and weren’t at the lake to see their dad die. We only learned about his death because Jay’s nephew called us – ours was the only phone number in his truck – to see if we had the grandmother’s or the ex-wife’s phone number. We didn’t so we suggested he contact the police department for help.
Why God chose to call Jay at age 47 with heavy responsibility for his kids we can’t know. Certainly Jay violated the common sense rule that alcohol and water don’t mix, but I’m guessing he had done this before at the lake, although never did he show up drunk for work. Those of us who knew Jay are most concerned about the children. They will need many prayers because their dad was the center of their lives.
Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the children. I thank God for having known Jay because he showed me that no matter how economically tough things are, a person can be joyful and trust in God’s care. He truly lived that way.
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R. Now and forever!
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