Saturday, May 22, 2010

In Loving Memory

Yesterday our dear friend Andrew passed away. Two years ago he discovered he had colon cancer - a rather freakish occurrence in a 36-year old - and yesterday he moved on from a long, hard, fight.

Keith and I have each known Andrew for almost a decade, in many capacities: friend; pastor (who, along with his wife Val -also a pastor- married us); colleague, employer, mentor. I will always remember how real Andrew was with who he was, where he was at... Good day? You'd know it. Bad day? You'd know that, too.

Andrew has three incredible boys (in the picture above he's holding the ultrasound pics of his third), the oldest two of which I spent a good deal of time babysitting during college. He was married to his other half for almost 13 years.

I am grieved for his family that must learn new ways of existing without this amazing figure that has been an ever-present element in life as they know it. I am grieved that Andrew had to suffer as he did before dying. I am grieved for those that so fervently prayed and prayed and prayed, waiting for a miracle healing to occur and feel like they've been failed; or worse yet, that they failed.

For me, though, it's like this: Andrew's death IS the miracle. It's a miracle because no matter what he went through here on Earth, I know it is over now and he is in heaven, with Jesus. There is no reason that we should be entitled to something like Heaven and yet, there it is, awaiting us. Why? Because God is good. And that, too, is a miracle.

This is how I picture Andrew right now: He's wearing a soccer shirt with a ball in front of him, holding a Belgian beer in one hand, standing by the grill. It's a big grill, because, well, this is Heaven... which probably also means it's a big beer. He is smiling hugely, like in the picture above. I can hear him laughing, maybe even snorting, and having fun meeting everyone. He's a total connector, so in about a week's time he will have quadrupled everyone's social network, and he'll have all the newbies acclimated in no time. Because that's Andrew.
Kate Jaggard Tyo


  1. Kate, I love your picture of Andrew by the grill. But he's also wearing a Red Sox cap :) And he's gathering people for a good board game like Carcassone. I'll post my comments soon after I've collected them. Thank you from Val's family for your beautiful and inspiring words.

    Val's oldest sister,

  2. Christine, you are so right about the Sox cap! I don't know that we ever actually met, but I saw your girls grow up on Val & Andrew's fridge.
    And, lest people think I'm stating the obvious in the first several paragraphs here, this is a post I wrote for my own blog last week that I asked Chi-Ray to cross-post.