Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jason's Funeral

Jody, Noah and I traveled to Texas to attend Jason Hightower's funeral this past weekend. What an amazing funeral it was. In fact, it didn't feel like a funeral- instead, it proved to be a memorial and celebration of Jason and his life. It was awe-inspiring to see the stake center in Gilmer filled full with family, friends and loved ones from all over. Ingrid, Jason's dear wife, called us last Wednesday and asked Jody to be one of the speakers. Jody was honored and touched by the invitation. I knew this was going to be a difficult task for my husband as he loved Jason so much and it would no doubt be difficult to hold back the tears. I could not be prouder of Jody and the amazing job he did in delivering his talk. It was very touching and a wonderful tribute to our dear friend and the amazing life he lived during his short 37 years with us. I was especially touched by Ingrid and her strength. To everyone's surprise, she spoke at the funeral and shared a few thoughts and WOW- she is truly an amazing woman. Her testimony of the gospel and the plan of salvation is so strong. I can't even imagine what strength it took for her to speak at her husband's funeral and to do it with such grace and strength as she did. While her message was short, what stood out the most to me was when she said the following...." There is a difference between hoping, believing and knowing. I don't hope....I don't believe...I KNOW that I will be with Jason again some day." She went on to say that she knew with all her heart that Jason's passing was God's will and she had accepted this. She further shared with us that (just prior to his death) Jason had not been able to speak or communicate for over a month and that this was especially difficult for him since talking and being ever so busy was who he was. Ironically, his speaking and entertaining abilities were his livelihood as a radio station owner, General Manager and DJ at KMOO in Mineola, Texas.

There is no doubt that all who were in attendance at Jason Hightower's funeral were edified and uplifted in every way. We were reminded as we listened to the many stories that were shared about Jason and his endless ability to help others in need, that family and giving Christ-like service to our fellow man is what this life is all about. Yes, it doesn't seem very fair that this wonderful man's life was cut so short; yet, the grace and dignity in which he and his wife handled this enormous trial has left an indelible print on my heart and testimony. I am grateful today for my friends Jason and Ingrid and for their example in my life. May God continue to bless Jason and his dear family as they are some of the finest people I know and so deserving of His love and many blessings!

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