Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry or sad
So I’m going with the sad option on this one.
This was my first brother-in-law, William Lee Rhodes. He became a part of our family in 2005 when he and my sister became engaged. They were to get married on Feb 3, 2007. And they were attempting to gain custody of his son from a previous relationship. However, through circumstances that none of us could control on this earth, he went to live with Jesus on January 26, 2007.
This photo was his first Christmas with us. It was a very special Christmas for all of us. Not many people knew Will’s testimony, but he told those who were close to him. He lived a rough life, getting into trouble during his teenage and early adult years. He was sentenced to prison time for a crime that he and another boy committed, but took the full wrap of it so the other boy (who was a minor at the time) wouldn’t get in trouble and wouldn’t have a record. At that time of his life, it was probably the best thing that could have happened to him. Because on January 3, 2005 he came to know Jesus as his Savior. He was in a facility in Fulton, MO, which is the town that Joyce Meyer lives. She has a prison ministry where her materials and Bibles are brought to minister to the men that are imprisoned. Will was a recipient of her books. He read so many of her books while he was there and was able to realize how much he needed Jesus to save him from a life that was already in a downward spiral. For the remaining time that he was there he continued to minister to other guys. He and my sister (who knew each other prior to his arrest), had been corresponding via snail mail and rare email. She did this because she “felt like the God wants me to be friends with him and encourage him.” Will was made probation in May of 2005, and came to live with our family. We were all hesitant at first because of his tainted history. But soon, he became the son and brother and fiance that we never knew we needed in our lives. He was a breath of fresh air to everyone he met, and wasn’t afraid to defend his Lord or other people. He had a heart as big as the world, and would cry when a kitten got hurt.
This picture is still hanging prominently in my parents’ living room. Today he is still my brother. And he is still my sister’s “true love”. And he is still my parents’ “son”. It’s a bittersweet photo. Sad that his young life was taken so early and tragically, but glad that he is with Jesus in eternal paradise.
He will have a namesake soon, as my sister and her husband (Will’s stepbrother, James), are expecting their second child in March. A boy. They have been trying to come up with a name that fits with the first name that they’ve picked. Myself, my mom and even Brooklynn (my niece) have had moments of confirmation of what that name shall be. William. Bronx William will soon be welcomed into this world. He will make his “uncle” Will proud. 🙂