This morning our dear friends, Chris and Margy, said goodbye to their precious 33 year old son, Tad. Tad has been suffering from brain cancer for the past couple of years and has been in a hospice bed for the past 14 months. This morning his suffering ended as Chris and Margy watched him breathe his last breath here on earth.
It’s been a valiant battle that Tad has waged. He was confined to that hospital bed for all those months and yet he never complained; it was an amazing thing to watch. He taught everyone so much, me included. If only I can someday die with such strength and grace as Tad, I will leave a legacy, as he did to so many.
But it’s not just Tad who taught me so much during these past many months. His mom and dad became my heroes as they daily waged that battle with Tad. Their servanthood, their sacrificial love, their commitment to keep their Taddyboy at home until the end, their physical and emotional exhaustion to care for him, their never-ending prayers for him as he endured so much…and so much more will forever remain in my mind and heart as an example of true Christlike love. I watched them be Jesus to Tad.
And now they walk through life with a hole that will never again be filled this side of heaven. But one day…one day they will hold him again. During these past months Tad came to a new-found faith in Jesus that I know helped him endure these months of dying. The Lord’s strength and peace and love daily filled that bedroom. And so, along with Paul, we who loved Tad can say, “We do not want you to…grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him…Therefore, encourage each other with these words.” (I Thessalonians 4:13 &18)
I told Tad several times over these past months that if I had ever been blessed to have a son, I would have wanted him to be just like Tad Agnew. He touched my heart and life in a profound way.
Thanks, Tad, for everything you’ve taughted me. I only wish I could have known you before you got sick. The countless stories I hear about you from those who have loved you for so long have only deepened my love and respect for you.
See you again someday.
And thank you, Chris and Margy, for showing me what Jesus looks like with skin on.