Remembering Brad Today

TODAY was truly a gift. TODAY was a day to gather with family and remember our 25-year-old nephew, my sister, Laura Lea’s son. TODAY was a day to remember BRAD.

TODAY was a day to celebrate the truth that God is alive and interested in the details of our lives. “TODAY was the day that the Lord made and we DID rejoice and we WERE glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 ( My Mama’s favorite verse in the entire Bible. She passed away in October 2006 after only 4 months of cancer and she claimed this verse daily all of her life.)

Yes, TODAY was a gift I will remember always.

It began at Atlanta Hospice Chapel with 40 family members and close friends, along with many of Brad’s caretakers from the nursing home where he had spent the past 4 months. We all gathered with Laura Lea, her husband Rhys, and their daughter, Pamela, to celebrate Brad’s life.

Just a little background for those of you that are unaware and may be wondering…On June 24, 2008, Brad was 24 when he fell onto the concrete from his 6’4″¬†height and suffered a TBI. (traumatic brain injury) We knew right away that his injury was extremely serious and he went through brain surgery 24 hours later. Though Brad did show occasional signs of wakefulness, he never knew us and really showed few significant signs that he would make a recovery, but we, his family, kept hoping and praying. God answered our prayers in a different sort of way…After ten long months, with frequent trips to the emergency room from Signature Healthcare of Atlanta where he was being cared for, Brad passed peacefully in his sleep on Sunday night, April 19, 2009, just after he reached his 25th birthday. (see re: bradlamkie)

Now, you might be saying or at least thinking, how can we “rejoice” over such sad circumstances? Here are some of the reasons: God’s provision of excellent health care every step of the way; the love, support, and prayers from friends; the realization that when we seek God, we WILL find Him (James 4:8 and Jeremiah 29:13); the comfort that is provided by food from friends and fellowship with family at a sad time like this.

After the service, we gathered in our home to share photos and memories of Brad’s short life. We enjoyed chicken pot pie, salads, an array of incredible desserts, all prepared by friends who care. We laughed, we cried, we shared smiles and sighs. We loved on each other and held each other tightly. Our daughter came home from college to be with us. Brad’s cousins traveled over from Charleston to be with us.

My sister, Laura Lea, Brad’s mother, took each niece and nephew’s face and said, nose to nose, “TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO YOUR FAMILY.”

They all, each one, listened intently.

Yes, TODAY was a gift.

4 thoughts on “Remembering Brad Today”

  1. This is the day… Knowing Christ sure helps get you through the tough times. It is much easier to let go knowing where he will be and that one day you will be together again! My condolences to your family.

  2. I am amazed at the way God works in our lives. As I read this blog today, I, too, am rejoicing about a miracle that he provided yesterday. Our new puppy, Rascal, ran out in the street to greet a man walking. I was out there with him babysitting but couldn’t get to him fast enough before a car came by and he, our little 10 lb. terrier mix rescue dog was under the car. Joan has been to visit me and Rascal and knows how much we love him. Anyway, after rushing him to the vet and replaying this exact same scenario with our first little rescue dog Dixie in my mind (she didn’t live), I was distraught and in disbelief that this could happen AGAIN!! After, xrays and exams, the vet told me Rascal was a miracle, basically unharmed after being totally underneath a car. I was talking to my mom when it happened and told her to PRAY as I rushed him to the vet. She and my brother sat in our living room and prayed silently until they got the phone call. When I called later to tell them the GREAT NEWS, mom started singing “praise GOD from whom all blessings flow, praise HIM all creatures here below.” I know you might be thinking what a strange response to Joan’s beautiful story about BRAD, her nephew, a son, a brother, a grandscon, a cousin, a friend…and I’m talking about Rascal, a tiny 10 lb. precious teriier mix rescue dog. But, I know Joan ( a HUGE Blessing itself) and she would be thrilled to know that GOD blessed us with this miracle saving Rascal,one of God’s little creatures. There are lessons to be learned in life. I am a single 50 year old mom who is tired and trying to keep a real estate career going in this economy. Joan has visited me recently to encourage me. I think that is what this blog is all about, to reach out to others women to encourage and uplift.After yesterday’s experience and reading Joan’s blog, I am rejoicing and praising God for all our blessings. What a gift to have Faith, Family, and Friends. Joan is right things don’t matter at all. Here’s to Brad being HOME !! God works in mysterious ways.

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