I know that many who read our blog, know us well enough that I don’t have to describe the way I grew up or how close our family is.
I don’t have to go into detail about the summer days spent at the pond and the creek with cousins, the snow day forts built to massive proportions, the annual fishing trip to the Lake Manistique in the Upper Peninsula every year, or the weekly Sunday dinners at Grandpa and Grandma Conrad’s house after church with Aunts and Uncles and cousins.
I don’t have to remind anyone that, as we grew older, we became more than just family, we became the very best of friends. Weekends were spent planning Conrad Couples date nights and figuring out which couple was riding with what other couple on the road trip for our next family vacation.
We grew up next to each other in the Indiana country on farms, playing in the mud, riding bikes, fishing at the pond, shooting guns, hunting and killing varmint (and the occasional diseased cat or dog), pitchforking pigeons (this is exactly what it sounds like and is every bit as awesome as you would imagine it would be), we went to the same schools, vacationed together, attended Bethel College together, and made plans to raise families and do life together.
5 years ago today, Kyle moved from this life to the next and, on a warm summer evening a few days before our families trek to the Upper Peninsula, we realized that life on this planet is not what we think it is in our teens and twenties and that our lives would never be the same.
The invincibility of youth is that of foolish ignorance. Our time on earth is but a vapor, nothing but a waft of steam as it instantaneously dissipates into the air.
The time gone by holds such sweet memories of Kyle. We hold onto them dearly and with each passing day and year, it takes more and more coaxing to bring the images back to life in my head. Every picture and memory made since, has been one to cherish, but at the same time, reveals the hole in our lives that will never be filled.
While I know that our family will be together again in the blink of an eye, the humanity in me bears the burden of pain and grief for that which we have lost until we meet again on the other side.
I pray that you, along with me, realize just how short and precious this life is. I pray that our hearts’ cry would be to choose to daily take up our crosses to love and serve those around us, so that they may see Jesus in our words and in our actions and in our deeds. This is why we are here, this is what God gave us today to do. It is the only thing on our lifes’ To Do list.