A Brother who will be Missed

The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

  • 1 Timothy 5:5-8

These verses in 1 Timothy talk of the caregiver for the widow, but who cares for the caregiver?

My wife was the second oldest in a family of nine children.  It was an older brother, my wife, three more brothers, and then four sisters.  Three were born in Indonesia, my wife’s older brother, my wife, and then the last brother.  Three were born in the Netherlands, the other two brothers and the first of my wife’s sisters, with the final three girls born in the USA.

My wife’s oldest memory of babysitting was carrying her little baby brother Henk (pronounced Hank) down the stairs in her aunt’s home in Groningen, Netherlands. She was barely strong enough to carry her little brother, but as she came down the stairs, her older brother jumped out from behind a doorway and yelled, “Boo!” She dropped her brother and was punished, while her older brother got away with frightening her. In spite of her mistake, my wife became the built-in babysitter once they came to the USA.

When my father-in-law passed away in the 80s, there were two of the brothers who had remained in the home.  The youngest, Henk, became his mother’s caregiver once things became difficult for her.  The three were the family’s three musketeers living at the old homestead.  Then the next younger brother to my wife passed away from kidney failure.  Then my mother-in-law passed away.  And yesterday, the family had gathered at a vacation home on the back waters of the bay behind Galveston Island to celebrate Henk’s upcoming birthday.  Henk was not feeling well, and while everyone was trying to figure out what might be wrong, Henk had a massive coronary and passed away, about three weeks before his birthday.  He would have been 67-years-old.

Henk was a kind soul who was very quiet.  That, in itself, was an oddity in a noisy family of eleven.  Among many jobs, he was a school bus driver, for a time specializing with the special needs children.  His soft demeanor and patience came through when his job was meeting the needs of others.  With his temperament, becoming his mother’s caregiver was a perfect match.  But when she passed, his own health started falling apart.  He had lost his brother and his mother and although he had other siblings who had moved away to start their own families, he had no one for whom to care.  He became the one who needed the care.

Henk, you were loved by many.  You will be missed.  And now the three musketeers are reunited.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

6 Comments

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  1. Sorry for your loss, Mark.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry for yours’s and your wife loss Mark.

    Liked by 1 person

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