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Monday, December 19, 2011

Jeff...the Rest of the Story

In recent posts, I've introduced you to Jeff; shared some of his humor; told of the adoption of baby daughter, Darci, by Jeff and Cheri, then of Cheri's death from cancer and of Jeff's subsequently meeting and marrying Beckie. Some of you have noticed and remarked about my use of past tense in talking about Jeff. Now it's time to tell you the rest of the story.

A year and a half after Jeff and Beckie married, four months after Darci's eleventh birthday, and seventeen days before their second Christmas together, Jeff died in an auto accident.

His death obviously hit Beckie and Darci very hard. The radio station, where he served as Operations Manager and on-air personality, reeled. Thousands in the community, who regularly listened to and loved Jeff and his infectious laugh, were stunned and shared in the grief of his family and co-workers.

Sixteen years have passed since then. Beckie is happily remarried. Darci is all grown up, married, and the mother of two. Life goes on.

The Bible says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

We don't always know, in this life, all the ways that God works things out for good in a given situation; but we can often see some of those ways. Jeff's death was no exception.

A few weeks before Jeff and Beckie married, Jeff was motivated to get his affairs in order when a close friend, a man of Jeff's own age and in apparently excellent health, collapsed and died suddenly while jogging with friends.

God had also been at work in choosing a new mom for Darci and giving them time to bond in their mother-daughter relationship before He called Jeff home. And the new mom that He chose was one whose own father had died in an auto accident when she was a little girl.

God also gave Darci a teacher that year, at the Christian school she attended, who had lost her father when she was young and who was able to minister to Darci through her own experience.

John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

God asks us to trust Him, even when we can't understand what He's doing, knowing that He loves us enough to have sent His Son to pay sin's penalty for us. That's faith.

Jeff had that absolute faith in his Savior. Those of us who share that faith have the assurance that we will meet again one day. Meanwhile, it's fun to imagine Jeff entertaining the heavenly hosts by doing impressions of the apostles.

Jeff's personal motto was, "my life from HIM...my laughter for HIM."

I'll leave you with another audio clip of Jeff and Char, as poor Char was trying to give a recipe for Mock Chow Mein.




11 comments:

  1. Oh how sad... I thought that Jeff was probably dead--but of course, didn't know the circumstances... Glad his wife and daughter are doing okay after 16 years. BUT--Jeff will never be forgotten.

    None of us know when our time on this earth will end. That means that we need to live it to its fullest NOW....

    Life does go on... We grieve and then we do the best we can to move on...

    Merry Christmas.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  2. I'm glad I found your blog because, in a small way, it gives me a chance to know Jeff. We never really leave this world so long as we are remembered.

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  3. How sad for Darci to lose both her parents so early. What a tragedy, but still as you pointed out all the ways things worked out, there is certainly a greater plan for everyone's life. I would never have heard Jeff's story if not for this blog!

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  4. Betsy - It's so true that we don't know when we'll exit this life and enter the next. But, praise God, we can know where we'll spend that next life.

    Stephen - I'm glad to count you among my readers, and glad, too, that I could introduce you to Jeff.

    Thanks, Steve.

    Elizabeth - It's amazing to see how God can take the events in so many lives and weave them into something good for each one and for His glory.

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  5. A sad story but beautiful that you were able to share it with us. Thank you for sharing Jeff.

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  6. Hilary - Thanks to you, too, for allowing me to share the story with you. It wouldn't have been nearly as gratifying if there was no one to read it. :)

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  7. I'm glad to have 'known' Jeff a little through your stories, it's wonderful that you shared this x

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  8. Thanks, Deborah. It was a fun story to share.

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  9. Thanks Linda for sharing that FUNNY clip of Jeff and Char! I remember hearing this one years ago when Char was trying her best to read that recipe! I laughed my head off again as I listened tonight:)
    I was in shock when I learned of Jeff's death...what a great loss. I, like so many listeners to his radio program, loved that guy. He was ONE IN A MILLION!

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  10. Diane - Knowing that someone like you, who remembers Jeff, is reading these posts makes writing them even more enjoyable. I have a lot of these clips on my MP3 player, and they pop up occasionally when we're traveling somewhere. Always brings a smile, if not a chuckle.

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