My older brother passed away early this morning, so he is my VIP for this week. He has been an important part of my entire life and helped me and my family many times. The most important thing that he did for me was to be a mortal example of our Elder Brother, even Jesus Christ. After my mother passed away and my father became elderly, my brother and his wife welcomed my father into their home. They took care of him and gradually took over his responsibilities.
After my father passed away, my brother became the patriarch of the family. He accepted the responsibility even though he had an older brother who would not or could not do it. My brother acted in my father’s place in dispensing inheritances to his eleven siblings. He did so with love and concern for each of us and did it in a manner that would have pleased our father. It was through this experience that I came to know and understand the great love that Jesus Christ has for each of His brothers and sisters.
My brother and his wife became acting grandparents to my children and acting great-grandparents to my grandchildren. Some of my children did not know my mother at all, and none of them knew my father very well. We lived far from home while my children were growing up, and they missed knowing their grandparents well. None of my grandchildren knew either of my parents. We are all grateful for the willingness of my brother, his wife, and their posterity for including us in their family.
My brother has been ill for more than a year and has had declining health for the past six months. We have known for several weeks that his time to graduate from this earth was near. We had some time to gradually come to terms with his death, but we will dearly miss him. We love him and miss him. However, we know that he is having a wonderful reunion with our parents, two brothers, his daughter, and his great-grandchild who all passed before him.