In memory of
made this image of a roadside Cross near Fayetteville, TN, traveling home
the day after my brother’s funeral.
He died on August 4, 2004 of liver cancer at the age of 50. This photo reminds me of the times we spent traveling around
the back roads of Kentucky looking for photo opportunities; these are some
of my fondest memories of being with him.
has been described as a simple man, someone who was always there to lend a
helping hand and asked for nothing in return.
I know that this saying has become cliché – but Greg was the
real thing and lived each day observing this selfless personality trait.
He did not use “flowery” language but always spoke honestly and
directly from the heart. Another
way of saying this is that you knew where he stood on the issues and how
he felt about you. Do not
mistake this to mean that he was opinionated or closed minded – far from
it. He just did not believe
in saying what the other person wanted to hear just to appease them.
He would let you know what he believed in (if you asked) and then
did not sit in judgment if you disagreed - a rare character trait to have
in this day and age.
the funeral, Rev. Greg Gallaher spoke of Greg’s courage and confidence
in his faith in Jesus Christ. The
closer the time came for Greg to go Home, the stronger his faith became.
So many people boast of their faith and brag about the church
activities they are involved in – but do so under the guise of knowing
that they are healthy and secure in that fact that nothing bad
“should” happen to them. I
wonder how their faith would be tested if they were told that they had 8
months to a year to live? Would
they fall into a deep depression? Become
totally self-centered and mean? Go
on an extended drinking binge? Or
do as Greg did – become even closer to Jesus Christ?
By the way, Greg only lived 4 1/2 months after he was diagnosed
with liver cancer.
left behind a loving wife (JoyAnna), who had to juggle the
responsibilities of being a wife, mother, and professional woman; eventually having to move her business to their home – a tremendous
sacrifice! Their 8-year-old son Daniel is a bright, intelligent boy, who
now has the burden of growing up without his biological father.
I know that Greg did not fear death, but was concerned that he
would not be able to grow old with the two people he loved the most.
The only complaint I heard he ever made was, “It is not fair?”
I cannot tell you how heavy my heart becomes knowing that my
brother will not see his son graduate from college.
He spoke of his son’s love of the military and how he would like
to see him attend West Point. I
fight back my emotions over this issue by remembering Greg’s faith
during his last days on earth. During
his Communion, he prayed for Joy Anna, Daniel and his church.
It was such a simple, honest prayer of surrender that it deeply
moved Rev. Gallaher. Total
belief that he is going to a better place and that Jesus Christ was in
control and knew what was best for him and everyone concerned.
I keep telling myself - Who am I to question God’s decision?
have posted the above photo in memory of my brother Greg and the love that I
have for him. I have
been so blessed to have known him as my brother.
symbolism of this image is that the Cross represents the fact that Jesus
Christ saved Greg’s life - John 5:24 (RSV), "Truly, truly, I say
to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal
life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to
The truck and U-Haul represents all the people that Greg has
touched in his life. We all
will move on with our lives having to cope with the loss of this good man.
The message of this photo is that when you are traveling down life’s highways and back roads remember the things that truly matter – your loved ones and the memories that you’ve shared. Also, keep The Cross and what Jesus Christ did for you, central in your life. God is LOVE and Jesus Christ truly does Save. Please pray for JoyAnna and Daniel – that they find Peace in the painful adjustment period without Greg. I will miss him very much. (Eric Shindelbower - August 14, 2004)
A Psalm of David 23:4-6. (RSV)
Even though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
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TheCross-Photo web banner by Eric Shindelbower. Graphic elements left to right: Planet Earth, 07.18.1995, ID: C-1995-02395, photo courtesy of NASA-GRC; Cross photo taken at Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, AL by Eric Shindelbower; "JESUS" ASC11 Codes, binary representation; Globular Star clusters (NGC 6397), ID: STScI-PRC2003-21, photo courtesy of NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI); Brilliant Star in Milky Way's Core, ID: STScI-PRC1997-33, photo courtesy of NASA and Don F. Figer (UCLA); Movie still from, "The Passion Of The Christ," a film by Mel Gibson and ©2004 Icon Productions - background image, Dumbbell Nebula, PIA04249 - An aging star's last hurrah creates a flurry of glowing knots of gas that appear to be streaking through space, photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech (2003-02-11).
NASA - http://www.nasa.gov/
Movie: The Passion Of The Christ - http://www.thepassionofthechrist.com/
"Jesus Saves," "God is Love" - roadside Cross, Highway 431, near Round Square Lane (just outside of Fayetteville, TN) - photo by © Eric Shindelbower.
John 5:24; Psalm 23:4-6 - (RSV) Holy Bible, ©1946 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA - ©The World Publishing Company.
United Methodist Church
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