Chapter 22

It seemed strange that summer of 1979 to arrive at Cobourg Camp without Jeff bubbling and bouncing in the back seat of the car. Oh, how he had loved camp meeting time. We had always taken our boys with us to camp since they were babies. Jamie seemed at a loss as to what to do without his big brother there, especially when time came for the children's services. However, some of Jeff's buddies came over to our trailer and were very good to Jamie that summer. When Jerry returned home for a few days to work, Jamie and I shared many long walks along the beach collecting rocks and we had a multitude of good talks. It was a 'healing process' for both of us.

During the midweek service, Jamie gave his heart to God and dedicated his life to Christ. Nothing could have made his mommy and daddy happier. Once again, at camp, the Lord showed me how much He loves and cares for His children. Three campsites away from our trailer, there was a Godly mother who, years before, had lost her nine year old daughter with cancer. She was able to share with me and show me how over the years God had been so faithful to her and her family. I thank God with all my heart for all these wonderful blessings He sent my way.

I feel I have so much for which to be thankful. I love my husband dearly. How wonderful to have a Christian mate who has learned how to turn every situation over to his Lord. So many men have to hold a drink in their hand to get through trying times, but my husband would simply go off to another room by himself, and get on his knees before God. As well, I have my darling little Jamie, whose ways are so precious to me. He has the most endearing smile that lights up my heart as well as his face.

On our summer vacation we also visited church in another city where our former assistant pastor now lived. 'Pastor Murray' had been so good to us when Jeff was sick. His many, many visits had been so much appreciated. This story appeared in their church bulletin:

"I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord,

and across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For

each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the

sand; one belonged to me, the other to the Lord. When

the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked

back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed there

was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it

happened at the very lowest and saddest time in my life.

I questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, You said that

once I decided to follow You, You would walk with me all

the way. But I have noticed that during the most trouble-

some time in my life, there is only one set of footprints.


I don't understand why in times when I needed You

most, You would leave." The Lord replied, "My

precious child, I would never leave you during -

your times of trial and suffering. When you see

only one set of footprints, those were the times

when I was carrying you. The footprints are Mine."

That expressed my feeling exactly. When things got beyond any human help, I too had been gently carried and held by my Savior.

Little Corey, Jeff's best friend, was also really feeling the loss. I had gone through Jeff's belongings and toys, and prepared little 'goodbye gifts' from Jeff to his special playmates. I also sent along a note with each present, telling the children how much Jesus loved them and that if they spent their life serving Christ, they would certainly see Jeff again some day. Corey wrote a little story about Jeff at school and brought it to us, It was very precious.

Children have a unique way of relating to an adult in sorrow. They are so honest and open in their own feelings, and it reminds me of how God's Word tells us to become as a little child with simple childlike faith. At Activity Club, Jeff had made a traffic signal as part of his craft work. I have this taped to my frig door. There are three scriptures on it in his own handwriting. Under the red light he has printed, "STOP, be still and know that I am God," Psalm 46:10. Under the yellow caution light is the scripture, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength", Isaiah 40:31, and under the green signal is Psalm 71:16, "I will go in the strength of the Lord". This indicates to me the way Jeff lived his life. To daily read these verses in Jeff's own writing is such a blessing to me.

What frightens me most over losing Jeff is to realize that perhaps in years to come, we might forget some of the little things that made him so precious. I want so much for all of us to remember Jeff and the love he so generously gave to all. People have said to us, "I am a better person for having known Jeff during his illness". Others, young and old, have shared with us since Jeff's death the fact that the way in which he handled the situation by fully giving it all to Christ in simple faith, has had something to do with them consecrating their lives fully to God. Then, once again, I understand why God allowed this to happen to our family. Somehow it makes me feel very proud to think Jeff has been used as a link in creating the beautiful bond of love we now feel in our church family. I believe our own lives have been enriched for having known and loved our son.

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© Joan McMillan #297587

This page was created April 21st 1997. It is maintained by Jonathan McMillan and Joan McMillan