Dear Spenser

by Katherine Kehler

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Katherine, on the death of Spenser Tyrone Job, her five month old grandson.

Dear Spenser,

A good friend of ours once said that the Lord has given us the authority to be distributors of joy. Well, Spenser, during the five short months you were here on earth, you certainly did a marvellous job of bringing joy to our hearts - and you didn't say a word.

How well I recall walking into the lounge at the hospital - you were not even 24 hours old. There you were, sleeping contentedly on the couch between your mom and dad.

We could hardly wait to hold you.

I watched your Grandpa Kehler gazing so intently and lovingly at your little face - he said an instantaneous bonding occurred between the two of you that moment. You wrapped your little fingers around his heart and he was hooked . . . on you. He loved it.

A few moments later your other grandparents arrived with your brother Zachary. Do you remember? We were all wondering how he would respond to you. He’d had all the attention till then. But as you know Zachary put his head ever so gently and lovingly against your little head and yes, you immediately had won his heart, too.

I' m so glad that I was able to help your mom the first few weeks after you were born. I took a picture of your mom holding you when you were less than a week old.

It didn't take long for you to respond to us with your big smiles. What a thrill! And then, when you started laughing aloud you really filled the room with joy.

Do you remember when your parents, your brother and Aunt Pat came for supper? Your mom had ordered her favourite summer meal...watermelon and rollkuchen (fritters). After we had eaten, we all went for a walk. We had to take turns carrying you, because our arms and backs got tired...but you know, Spenser, we enjoyed every minute of it.

You were such a contented baby! On your dad's birthday, we were in the living room enjoying your mom's delicious baking. I remember you lying on your mom's lap, playing with your fingers. Another source of joy. We realized you were developing normally.

One afternoon when I dropped in, your mom and I laughingly cheered you on as you tried so hard to roll from your back to your stomach. You were a determined little fellow.

The last time I held you, the whole Kehler family was at your Aunt Pat's house for a barbecue. Remember? Your grandfather had enjoyed holding you most of the evening, but you were getting a little fussy, so I wrapped you in a blanket and carried you. You didn't seem at all sleepy, but you lay very still in my arms. You looked so intently in my eyes, not just a glance...but a long, deep gaze. I realized that this was the communication that you and your mom had every time she nursed you. What joy you brought to your parents, brother and grandparents.

You know, Spenser, God was trying to prepare us for your death. The day before you left us, a friend gave us a booklet called, "Heaven" and said they had given this booklet to many people who were grieving. Then, almost apologetically he added, "I hope this isn't prophetic." Well, it was.

Spenser, you left us so suddenly. We had nine months to prepare for you coming, but had no time to prepare for your departure.

We are sorrowing! We are rejoicing, too! You are with Jesus . . . "sitting on His lap," your mother envisions. And if it is possible to increase the joy in heaven, I'm sure you are doing it.

Perhaps, your great Grandpa Krause will teach you to fish, and great Grandma Krause will bake cookies for you. Do they do things like that in heaven? Tell Jesus that we sure do appreciate having you with us for five months. You have been a distributor of joy. It only took you five months to fulfil God's plan for your life. It is taking the rest of your relatives much longer.

Spenser, honey, your presence here has been a stimulant to all of us to be distributors of joy.

Gratefully, but tearfully,
Your Grandmother Kehler

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Marvin Job, Spenser's dad, shares his experience and feelings.

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