Monday, September 24, 2007
I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps me yearning Ooh,
I don’t know, I don’t know
Oh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turning Ooh,
I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow"
Every morning, the alarm clock rings
and it's time to get up and get on with a new day.
To continue on among the world of the living.
Each day it becomes a little easier.
Traction slips every once in a while.
Multiple things can be true at once.
I miss Sheyn.
It still hurts.
Still seems surreal.
His cell phone is disconnected but
I still don't have the heart to erase his number from my phone.
It seems so terminal.
Like a betrayal.
My little brother is gone,
but I know God's mercy was in it.
We had Sheyn for 23 years after having been diagnosed with a multiform high grade astrocytoma.
We were gifted with having him for that many years.
Even though his cancerous kidney was removed, the cancer had metastasized to stage 4 in his lungs.
His other kidney was failing.
Sheyn had a long, arduous battle ahead of him.
A battle that had a very poor prognosis.
No one wants to die slowly and painfully.
Sheyn was no different.
He died quickly, really.
Sheyn died on the afternoon of Sunday September 9th.
His memorial service was Thursday the 13th.
(One month after his 36th Birthday)
His funeral was Friday the 14th of September.
There were between 250-300 people at his memorial service.
I knew Sheyn had friends.
I had no idea just how many and how many
loved him so much.
Sheyn was a regular face in the Omaha music scene.
He didn't play, didn't sing and didn’t write music or lyrics.
Sheyn supported his many friends who were the
"Stars of the hour"
They came to look for his smiling face in the crowd enjoying their music as they played.
Over and over again, the many bands members came up to us and told of us of their affections for Sheyn.
It was like a tape recorder.
"We loved Sheyn. He was the most kind, caring, loyal, supportive, gentle person I've ever known."
"Now his chair is going to be empty"
Rough looking tattooed hard ass heavy metal musicians
Mourning THEIR loss of Sheyn.
Lingering past the allotted time for the memorial service, reluctant to leave him.
Perhaps in hopes that he would rise from his casket in a "Gotcha" of some morose joke.
Maybe a vain attempt of not wanting to let him go.
Sheyn, now gone, was "The Star of the Hour"
My family said his final days were foretelling in hind site.
The last two weeks of his life he was feeling progressively worse,
but family and friends all said that, "He looked better than he has in years."
Many said that he "Absolutely Glowed"
Two days before he died my brother was so weak that he couldn't leave the house
and told my mother that he knew he didn't have much time left.
The day before he died, although he was feeling terrible.
My sister and my mother were struck by, "How beautiful he looked"
The morning of the day he died my sister said that
he walked by her and she thought, "He looked so beautiful it took my breath away
and I had to do a double take. He was so handsome I couldn't even speak"
He was dead just a few short hours later.
The hand of The Lord was upon him.
His presence so near as he prepared to receive him that
God's glory was shining upon Sheyn.
Family and friends saw this
Sheyn was a witness to many.
His friends said, "Sheyn told me all the time that Jesus was the only one worth trusting"
When we sorted through his things he had so many witnessing tracts.
Books on how to witness to other religions.
Books on prophecy.
The testimony of his humble, unassuming gentle witness
was evidenced by the vast variance
of people at both services.
Atheists, agnostics, Hindu, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Protestants, Catholics...
All deeply grieving.
All deeply touched.
All brought together to hear the final testimony of his life.
To hear the Gospel's message of salvation proclaimed on Sheyn's behalf.
Many who would not voluntarily step into a church sat in a mortuary eagerly listening to the minister share why Sheyn was the way he was.
Because Sheyn, reflected Jesus, in everything he did more than anyone I ever knew.
Because of Sheyn's life, Sheyn's death was a mechanism to bring others into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The day after his funeral.
My sister happened upon one of Sheyn's books.
A book of subject that was a particular fascination of Sheyn's.
A book on Biblical prophecy.
My sister said that she felt God tell her to turn to page 40.
Between pages 39 and 40 was our father's obituary.
She heard God say to her, "Sheyn is with your dad in heaven."
Because of long seeded hurt and bitterness towards our father, only God could have said this to her.
Stepping back from it all.
The pieces all fit.
The picture all forms a picture giving evidence that the timing
was within God's perfect design.
Sheyn is reveling in God's glory.
He's smiling down on us, having the time of his life in a perfect body.
He wouldn't want to return if given a chance.
We can still hurt.
We can still grieve our loss of such a beautiful, wonderful man we all took for granted.
But we can still rejoice that in all of this, Jesus is glorified.
And Sheyn is pretty pleased with how all 36 years
and 27 days of his life turned out.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way....
...You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines...
The time is gone, the song is over...
When my brother was in the ICU after having just had his cancerous kidney taken out that he wanted to go see a Pittsburgh Steelers game before he died. (His cancer had metsed to his lungs)
I had rolled that idea around in my head, with every intention of taking my brother to a game this season.
I wanted it to be a surprise.
I had asked a couple of friends in Phoenix to hook me up with tickets.
They were in the process of scrounging them up, which, I have no doubt would have succeeded.
Today I sat down at the computer to check on airline and hotel prices.
Man, I found some very satisfactory prices.
With the "Reserve Tickets" button right in front of me I thought I'd call him and tell him the good news.
I kept trying to call him, but got no answer.
I tried my mom on her cell phone...went directly to voice mail...very unusual for her.
I tried several times on the home phone..nothing...
Then my sister called in a panic and said, "Sheyn is having a heart attack and the Ambulance is here"
This is not happening!
No, it's true...
I know the cardiac arrest statistics.
I know the likely etiology of his cardiac arrest and that complicates things further...
Due to my vocation I know what the scene looked like....
I know that the prognosis is grim...but I also know that God is great and that Jehovah Raphah heals. I know that God holds time and life in His hands.
There, with the reservations window up,... my brother dies.
He was only 36.
Timing is everything, isn't it?
Is this cruel irony?
I never even got the chance to tell him.
Despite what the enemy tries to whisper in my ear, God is not cruel.
He is faithful.
God has a time for everything.
Ecclesiastes 31 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
2 And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.
My brother was dying of cancer. Kidney cancer which metastasized to Lung Cancer.
Lung cancer, which is a particularly cruel form of cancer.
He had a slow and painful death to look forward to.
We all assumed he had time.
He was so fearful of dying slowly and painfully.
Well, God is merciful and loving so He took Sheyn quickly.
Now instead of wasting away he is now in a new, healed, whole glorified body.
He's with Grandma and Grandpa.
He's with my dad.
He's with our brothers who died as babies that none of us have ever met.
More importantly he's with Christ.
He is basking in the presence of the creator of the universe.
I'm reeling grief, in the sudden loss of my brother.
My heart hurts for my mother and sister who had to witness his death.
I cannot even fathom what my brother in law is going through having been the one to have been doing CPR. It's physically, spiritually and emotionally exhausting. He tried hard and I imagine there are so many things going through his mind.
It's hard to comprehend that he's dead.
Did he really know how much I loved him?
Does anyone really know how much we love them?
How many times did I have that little voice tell me to call him, text him, e-mail him...
I'm busy, I have time...
Oh, I really don't know what to say.
I feel numb.
I feel like I've cried more than I knew I could, but the tears keep coming.
So many people are calling with their support, which brings the emotions up again.
Yet, in between phone calls I'm blogging
It's somewhat cathartic.
I miss my little brother.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Three racks of spare ribs to be precise.
I use a different rub approach to beef, pork and poultry.
I think I have by proprietary rub(s) pretty much
Once THAT is done, then I'm going to start working on a BBQ sauce of my own formulation.
In the meantime, I'm using the old standby K.C. Masterpiece Original and I though I'd try a new one too yesterday.
Budweiser Beechwood BBQ sauce. We really liked it. Just a subtle hint of beer, not too overpowering with a surprisingly nice texture.
The nice part about perfecting the art of BBQ is that you get to eat all of the trial and error.
My next try at BBQ, though, Is going to be a Pork Shoulder.
That way I can try my hat at the pulled pork thing.
My wife likes that the best, so let's see how that works.
Now, If I could only convince her to allow me to buy a Caja China.
$299 to $329 (Haven't checked Ebay)
Then I could do a WHOLE pig or several roasts or shoulders at once.
In the meantime, I'll use my $50 garage sale smoker and love every morsel.
Man, I love BBQ!!!