I ran out of steam last night and this morning was running as usual but manage to transcribe the letter that my friend Gail wrote to her recently deceased husband whom we buried (cremated) yesterday. This woman, (she humbly won't admit it) was the backup for all the things we praised about the life of Gerard, who was everything they said about him. Between the two of them they raised three great young men who have been shaped and formed in the image of their father and who are positively imitating him in their own lives and families. Here is her letter:
A message from Gail Gabriel.
My Dearest Gerard,
Your death came so suddenly and shockingly to all of us. It is something we cannot question because we understand that the circumstances surrounding your death were totally part of God’s plan for you. He spared you the pain of receiving any more dialysis and any more discomfort. You have reached your heavenly destiny well before all of us, rejoicing with the angels in heaven where you are in a total state of bliss and happiness, pain free. As I prayed over you I had a vision of white galloping horses with chariots, and now I can understand it was our God sending his angels to fetch you.
The days ahead are going to be long and very difficult, especially for me, the beautiful memories we have made over all these years will sustain me in the years ahead and I know you, together with the angels in heaven, would be interceding to the Lord for His peace and protection upon us.
The legacy you leave behind is immeasurable and cannot be compared to any person on this earth that I know. The accumulation of material wealth was never a priority and value to us. The things that we as parents valued more than silver and gold are love, humility, kindness, joyfulness, piety and humbleness. Values which we have firmly entrenched into the lives of our children. Thus, as a result, you were able to see the fruits of your hard work in the success of our children
Can you see all the people that have come to pay their respects? They have come from far and wide, with wonderful stories of how you have touched their lives in such profound ways. It’s amazing listening to their stories. You loved people, that was your greatest strength and at this time they are returning all that love that you established back to your family. Gerard, it is amazing to see the wonderful support of everyone at this time, young and old. So every time I scolded you about spending all that money you had on airtime, you banked it in making relationships that are being returned to us today. We will get through this time without you, with the support of all the friends that you made.
I strongly believe that children are a direct reflection of their parents. You have done an excellent job in raising them in the ways of the Lord. I will miss you terribly but every time I look at them I see you and I will be strengthened in the knowledge that your spirit of love, humility, kindness, humbleness and happiness lives on in them and their families they are building.
In 2009 God gave you back to us and I promised him that I would take good care of you. I tried to fulfill this promise to the best of my abilities. During thee years, we lived life as if every day was our last day. We had made beautiful memories together as a family. Russell and Christopher got married. You were over the moon when Zoe was born and all you spoke about every day as about Zoe and Kenzi, even though you didn’t meet Kenzi yet. She would know you because you often spoke to her and read her a story. These were precious moments that you enjoyed. (He would read to Kenzi while she was still in the womb of his daughter-in-law. She was not born yet before he passed away.---my note—Fr. Cas.)
Your skill at playing darts earned you a reputation in the darting world that speaks volumes about you. You transferred your skills to Karl, whom you have trained and he has already earned a spot representing South Africa at the world cup in 2008. The highest achievement every player dreams of. And now, as a young adult, he is number one in KZN and together this year, father and son are to have played for KZN in the national championships in July this year. Something you were happy about and therefore I am glad that even though your death shocked us you were happily planning till the day you died..
Thank you, my love for the best 37 yrs. of my life. We would have celebrated 34 yrs. of marriage in December. We had our challenges but we got through each one of them, and your loss is not going to be any easier, but I draw my strength from the legacy you leave behind, from the relationships you invested in and most of all from my gracious and Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ.
You, go well, my love, until we meet some day on that heavenly shore.
Your loving Wife, Gail
I will leave this blog here for now. Cas