Tuesday, September 20, 2011

in memory: Russell Williams Farley

I have been waiting to write this post for a while now,  trying to leave time for the emotions to fade and the dust to settle a bit. But the reality is that when tragedy happens emotions run deep and the dust cloud of unanswered questions sometimes never settles.

On Thursday, September 9 Russell Farley (Chris' Uncle) died suddenly at just 42 years old.
Until now, I have never been to a funeral or dealt with shocking tragedy like this before. Sharing this experience with Chris and my new family was a wonderfully difficult thing to walk through together. When people go through tragedy like this it strengthens relationships and connects people at the heart level.

Russell was the youngest of 5 siblings (2 brothers and 2 sisters) and I watched in amazement as the family bonded together to honor Russ as best they could in the midst of their tears and heartache. Church members, community friends, and even the cable man showed up to share tears and stories about Russell and what he meant to them.
You see, Uncle Russ was one of those people who understood what it means to be a servant of the Lord. He spent hours upon hours working for others and gave all that he had even when life's aches and pains overwhelmed him. He connected and cared for the lost sheep and did what little he could to share Christ's love, even when he didn't always feel it himself.
I'll will never forget the way he cared for children. The kids would jump and scream with excitement when "Uncle Bubba" walked in the room at the many family gatherings. He gladly spent more time with the "little kids" than the "big kids". Big 'ol Uncle Bubba knew how to care so tenderly and modeled the life of Jesus when no one was looking.

If Chris and I ever have children, I know that Uncle Russ would have loved and cared for them just as he did with the others.
We have done what we can to honor his memory and find closure from the viewing to the funeral service, but the sting still lingers. And finding comfort in the promises of Scripture are not always easy. But I do know this, that one day I will get to give Uncle Russ a great big hug again, and will thank him for the example of service he has set for our family. And that through the sadness of his death, we have found joy in knowing that he is pain free in the arms of the Father.
Psalm 4:8 "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful dedication. He seems like he was such a joy. I hope the family is well.