Tears of Joy

6 05 2018

Last year my heart was saddened to hear of the passing of an old friend. Speaking to hisRock _n wife and other family members, they dearly missed this man but were relieved he was no longer in pain. Tom was a large figure of a man with arms bulging with muscles. In his younger days he had been a Marine serving his country in the Viet Nam War. At the completion of his tour, he came home, married his high school sweetheart and they had four beautiful children. Tom was in the construction field and all his life he worked hard to meet the needs of his family. Even though he often worked long hours, Tom would always make time for his loved ones even if it meant going with little sleep, and they loved him dearly for all he did. He was always a joyful sort, smiling and cracking jokes with everyone, and he never knew a stranger. He would go out of his way to make people comfortable especially new young men he’d work with and teach the carpentry trade. The time came when Tom retired; he and his beautiful Lady moved to Florida to live in warm weather and enjoy his love of fishing year-round. Yes, life was good for my large friend.

One day Tom noticed his legs were feeling weak and found it difficult to even stand. Going to the doctor he was diagnosed with a muscular degenerative disease and with no cure would only get worse. Friends and family came to see Tom at his home. Even though he was confined to a wheelchair his cheerful attitude never faltered, laughing, telling jokes and stories with all who visited. Everyone would say he cheered them up more than they did him.

In time this dreaded illness robbed Tom of all his motor skills. He could no longer move any portion of his body, then his speech was gone. Finally, his only sign of life was diminished to a blank stare. Doctors told his wife Tom’s mind was being erased to where he would no longer able to recognize anyone as his conditioned deteriorated. The only thing she could do was wait for the end to come.

It was clear sunny morning. Tom’s wife sitting at his bedside along with a friend who was there to keep her company. As they made small talk the friend asked how Tom proposed to her some fifty years ago. With a smile she proceeded to tell how Tom came home right before being shipped to Nam and they went out to their favorite burger shop, then a movie at the local drive-in. At the end of the night they took a walk around her neighborhood. When they reached her house, Tom walked her up on the porch; he then got down on one knee, held out an engagement ring and asked her to marry him. She then giggled a little as she remembered he had to put a handkerchief down first not to get his dress blues dirty when he knelt down on his knee. After they both shared some more about that precious moment the friend looked over and Tom and her eyes became wide. “Look!” she exclaimed. In wide-eyed wonder the gals stared intently on Tom’s nearly lifeless body. And there, coming from one eye. A small tear. Tom could hear them, and he remembered. A few moments later he drew his last breath. Tom’s “Travels of the Rock Road” were complete.

Revelation 21:4: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

One thing I had neglected to tell you until now is Tom had given his life to Jesus years ago. As much as he loved his family and friends, he loved his Savior even more. That’s where he put all his faith, all his trust. This was the reason he did not fear death and would be so cheery during his last days of coherency. It’s also the reason that even though his family was losing this wonderful man they loved, they confidently believed he would be with them one day again.

Of course, we have no way of knowing what brought on the tear that day; I’m sure there are numerous medical reasons experts can point to. But his Lady feels it wasn’t pain or sadness, it was Tom hearing her words of how their lives started together, and it brought him joy. That was his way of saying “I remember that wonderful moment. Now I’m going to Home to Jesus, I’ll see you there.

John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?”

“My Home is in Heaven. I’m just passing through this world.” Billy Graham. And Tom.
Even though I miss talking to my friend, I am so happy for Tom because I know he is happier than he has ever been in his life.

I’m going to end this story with the verse I used prior, because that’s what Tom would want.

Revelation 21:4: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Look forward to when I see you again, Big Man, my Brother.

See ya next time.




One response

9 05 2018
Beverly Crane

Wow! Another beautiful story. Sadness turns into joy. Thank you for sharing parts of your life with your readers John. Always look forward to the next one.

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