This beautiful hymn, written by Keith Green, was one of my son James’s favourites. In reading Keith Green’s bio online, I was surprised to find how close he was in age to our son, when he was taken in a plane crash, along with two of his little children. Keith was 28. Our James was 25.
James was a happy baby, and full of mischief. He was a bit over-zealous at times, as we discovered shortly after this picture was taken. We spent an afternoon on a sandy beach at Beaverhill Lake. Wee James loved the grapes we offered him. But we didn’t notice at first that he was also filling up on handfuls of sand. A trip to the ER that evening was enough to make us extra diligent in watching what he put in his mouth after that!
I think James was beginning to get worried that he would never have a baby brother! He was almost 7 when the first of his little brothers came along. Not that he seemed to mind too much… he played well with his sisters, and had a special bond with his baby sister, Vicki.
When James’s second little brother was born, we lived in a three-bedroom trailer in Evergreen Mobile Home Park — among 700+ other trailers with tiny yards. A few years later, we moved to Vimy, Alberta. Another three-bedroom trailer, but at least this one had a big addition on it so we had a mudroom and a large school room, which made things much easier for this homeschooling mom.
When all was said and done, James had an equal number of sisters and brothers. By the time Nathaniel was born, James was 15 years old, over 6 feet tall, and strong as an ox. He was so gentle with his baby brother that I thought of him as my Gentle Giant.
This was a wonderful and memorable day. I am pictured with ALL of my children. The only reason Ian wasn’t in the picture was that he couldn’t be there that day.
James was an amazing young man, whose passing left a hole in our family and in our hearts that will never be filled. To this day we talk about him easily in our daily conversations, as if he were still with us and will walk in the front door any time. But he loved the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord, and we know he is with Him. We will see him again some day.
The scripture verse on his memorial stone says it all…
“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21
© Willena Flewelling