Within hours of finding out that a loved one is gone, you're forced to answer questions that you wish you could avoid, but avoidance is not an option. All of our minds and bodies were in shock, and numb motions carried us though the hours as we made phone calls, had family meetings, and figured out all that needed to get done to prepare for the days ahead. Nothing was easy and no decision was simple, but doing everything right for Jay was most important now. Every decision we made from this point on had to honor his life as we prepared to say good-bye.
The following day we had to leave for San Antonio to be with Jay. All I could think about was getting to him. I was missing him and things still weren't making sense in my head. "Where are you Jay", became a continual whisper I could hear in my mind. Although I knew he was gone, my soul couldn't stop searching for him. Aristotle says that a friend is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. Jay was my best friend--without him I was feeling lost and severed.
We got to our hotel room about 1:30 a.m and headed straight to bed. It was a long day, and I was ready to end it because it meant that I was that much closer to being with Jay. Before falling asleep I asked God once more for that dream I had wanted so badly--the same dream I had asked for the night before. "Please God let me see him one more time to say good-bye".
When I woke up the next morning I couldn't move. Seeing Jay was now just hours away and I didn't get that dream that I had asked God for. I felt empty. I reluctantly decided to go through the last thread of text messages we had with one another. It was a hard decision to make; I didn't know how I'd react but it was all that I had and I needed to feel him.
As I opened the conversation, I scrolled up quickly to begin reading our last exchange of words. He was telling me things like he had just landed... he was going to eat... he'd be calling me soon. It was our normal routine of text messages but now they had new meaning. They were now words that reminded me how precious our routines were, and how much of a fit we had become. No matter where we were, we always had each other. This felt good to think about, and it gave me some peace, but God had something even more precious ahead. Something I believe He had planned for this very moment.
As I continued to scroll down through the text messages of that night, I saw that Jay had sent me a picture that I somehow missed. It was the picture of the phoenix sunset he had posted on his Instagram and along with the picture he messaged, "Phoenix rising to the South Texas sunset. Makes me miss you". I laid there in bed starring at this picture in disbelief. I felt overwhelmed and grateful. I was now just hours away from seeing Jay, but in God's perfect timing I found myself looking at this last sunset of his and he was saying it made him miss me.
In Jay's limited and earthly perspective I know he didn't want to let go. I know that his heart longed to be with me, and all those that he loved. My heart tugs when I think about it just as I know his did, but I also know that eternal perspective would change that. I believe that once his eyes caught the sight of Jesus' face, he didn't look back. I picture him sprinting--his flip flops flying off of his feet as he ran into the loving arms of his Savior. Yes, Jesus is real, and He embraced him! I could hear the words, "Well done good and faithful servant" as Jesus held him safely. I was so happy for him. He made it and he was free. He now had rest, and his new outlook- the eternal one- allowed him to let go. There is no doubt in my mind that he didn't look back and knowing that made it possible for me to say good bye. God had answered my prayer.
"Thank you Lord for allowing me a glimpse of heaven through Jay's eyes. Thank you for embracing Him, and through the gift of his last sunset you embrace us who loved him. You are faithful and true, and worthy of all praise."
God is good...