He is with Jesus
My handicapped Daughter Stacy is home for thanksgiving and like a broken record she says “Kerry”, referring to my brother Kerry Byam who passed away suddenly about a month ago. I have explained repeatedly that Kerry is with Jesus when I do she folds her hands as if to pray and says “Jesus” and then says Grandpa referring to my dad who passed away in 2014. I tell her, you know he is with Jesus too. Stacy does not completely understand the concept of heaven, Stacy prays with us and loves church music. .Stacy chatters a lot mostly repeating herself asking questions much like any 2 ½ years old would even if she is 44 years old.
I miss my brother who accepted the lord into his heart in 2016. In 2015, my Sister Laurie passed away from brain cancer within three weeks of being diagnosed, it was a shock to us all. At Laurie’s funeral, the pastor recited 21 st. Psalm and when he got to the part about, “as I walk through the valley of Death, I shall fear no evil” Kerry said to his son jokingly said “because I am the meanest SOB in the Valley”, I and others glared our disapproval at him.
Fast forward to the summer of 2016 and Kerry had stopped to see what I was doing. I told him how inappropriate he had been at Laurie’s funeral. Kerry said ya, I know I was trying to be funny.
I asked him if he had ever accepted God into his heart as his personal savior. He replied no but, I have prayed from time to time and I believe in God.
I said Kerry, even the devil believes in God as he is a fallen angel. I picked up the bible and went to 21stPsalm, and started to read it explaining each line as I went through it. Kerry sat pensively while I read and explained each passage. Kerry then said wow, that is really beautiful, yes it is a comfort to many people I replied. We then discussed the Lord’s Prayer and simple prayer nearly everyone says as a child but many do not understand it.
Kerry had two sons who grew up without him as he put on more than a million miles driving semi over the years and was not the father or husband he wanted to be, Kerry simply did not have the tools to deal with family life. He used drugs on the road to stay awake and to go to sleep. There were periods where it was more than a year when I would see him. When he got married in 1983 I asked him why he had to ruin his wife’s life, he said “What do you mean” I said you know you will never be around. I can honestly say my brother never ever kept a promise that he made. He quit drinking about 10 years ago.
I told Kerry about my long, long journey of over forty years before I was able to go from a fence sitter to fully surrender to the lord. He said that he thought it was easy for me to do and I told him I do everything the hard way. I also told him not to expect life to be easy following God, in fact, life usually becomes much harder. I told him my favorite verse, First Corinthians 10:13, “there hath no temptation taken you which is common to man, stay focused on thee or God and I will show you the way through it.”
I told my brother it is just a simple task to invite the lord into his life, everybody keeps trying to reinvent the wheel, just ask him in prayer and mean it. Jesus, I give you my heart and soul and I ask you to let me follow you. I asked him if he was ready to do that, don’t be embarrassed to ask, it is a personal thing. I told him he could do it silently if he wanted or I could pray it with him. He told me he would do it on his own, I told him that I didn’t want to push him.
A few weeks later he stopped and told me he did it one night while alone in his car watching the traffic go by on the highway and wondered what road he was traveling. He told me that he was now more at peace with himself.
A few weeks before he died, Kerry called me and asked if his bed was still available, he stayed with Deb and me for nearly four months in 2017 while he and his wife were going through a tough time.
I asked what was going on and he said that his wife threw him out and said he had a drug problem, I asked him Do you have a drug problem thinking back to the many years he drove a semi and was taking drugs to stay awake. Kerry replied I have been taking Meth.
I said Kerry you do have a problem that you cannot kick this on your own you need help, you can stay with me for a couple of days but, meth creates a security problem for me and my family, you need help. He did not show up and I kept wondering if I had done the right thing. The night before he died he called again and I asked him if he had gotten help and he replied that he had not. I asked if I could pray with him which I did.
. I asked that he go down to the police station the next day to talk to the chief to see if somehow he could get put into the system to get help. My brother was overweight, smoked and had a previous heart attack and some stints put in and were on Meth which really pushes the heartbeat to unsustainable levels. Had a massive heart attack the next morning, I miss my brother