Forty years ago today, July 7th, I went to work at UPS in Cody Wyoming. Jeneen was starting labor pains so I told the guys at work I needed to leave early. The supervisor and the fellow drivers took some of my load so I could get done delivering packages earlier in the day. I was done by two or three in the afternoon. I quickly went to Powell where our doctor was because Cody did not have a baby doctor at the time. Jeneen was getting checked in as the pains were starting to come more frequent. Through much trial and difficulty, Chris was born that evening. I remember seeing him in the nursery, wide awake, ready to take on the world around him and he did.
Chris did so much in the time he had on earth before he went to be with the Lord in October of 2015. He has left a hole in the heart of the lives he touched which will never go away or be filled. That is the way of things. Those who have lost a child know the feeling.
As I reflect this morning, my mind wanders through all the precious memories he brought to Jeneen and me. The relationship he had with his brothers was amazing. The people who knew him well saw his love for the Lord and for His creation. He was a good pastor, loving and sacrificing for the people God put into his life. He wrote fine words, spoke wonderful messages, took beautiful pictures, and painted from his heart. We still have much of what he left.
The greatest thing Chris did was to bring into our lives a wonderful, beautiful girl named Michelle. They were married for over 15 years before Chris left this world. Together Chris and Michelle gave us three precious children to love. Michelle and our grandchildren continue to bring joy into our lives. We love them dearly and we thank God for them.
Yes, we still miss Chris on what would have been his 40th birthday. But I am so thankful for how he touched our lives and all he brought into them. Chris, I thank my God on every remembrance of you.
Painting by Christopher Leavell