Monday, July 8, 2013


It seems so cliche to start this by saying, "I remember it like it was yesterday", but there is something about going through a tragedy that makes you lock away every passing second into a vault! So, here we go... I remember it like it was yesterday. I was eating a jar of chocolate icing, watching Tv when I got a phone call from my good friend, Kacy. Her voice seemed a bit worried as she asked, "Katie, how is Jerry?"

Let me digress for a moment on who Jerry is. I first met him when he coached my brother in baseball, a disrespectful, loud sort of creature, a bachelor who lacked self-control. Our paths crossed again when they moved across the street from us. This time though, it was as if he had been through a transformation. He was married, gentle and kind. This man was sweet, funny and loved people. Christ had saved him and changed him. I think our memories tend to be glorified in our minds, but Jerry, I feel was truly this way. He was still rough around the edges but was being etched with character and grace from God!!

As my friend so kindly called me to check on me, she continued to say she had heard Jerry was in a wreck. I quickly got off the phone and called his wife. As I talked to her, she had not heard anything either, so I had some fears, but was hopeful. I called my mom and she quickly got off of the phone with me and went to investigate. I sat and waited. Waited and sat. Until my mom called and said that my brother was coming to get me and take me to the police station. As I sat on the porch waiting to see what all the commotion was about, another friend called whose dad was in the force. She kept saying over and over again that she was so sorry. It didn't register with me yet that anything but a simple wreck had happened. On the way, as I sat in the back seat, quietly waiting to arrive to see what was unfolding, my mom called. I think everyone knew at this point that Jerry had passed away, so she felt the need to tell me. I remember her saying that he was gone, and I remember throwing the phone down as if I had not control of my hands. He was gone!! What does that mean? Over the next days as our family and friends walked through this loss, there were moments that are chiseled into my mind, burnt into my memory. I remember collapsing as I went to tell another family friend who is like my sister and his other daughter. I remember I just couldn't tell her he was gone. I remember not being able to go into the church to receive visitors who would pay the respects because I felt if I walked into the room, it really meant he was gone. 

It's been 10 years since this tragedy when Fallon Talent swerved on the interstate at Jerry and another cop who were setting up spikes strips for her to run over. It's been 10 years since we lost the man who had the brightest disposition! It's been 10 years since the police force lost a hero! It's been 10 years. I'm not sad though. I do miss him, and I miss the Jerry bomp (a silly dance he did). But the thing that encourages my soul to something greater is knowing that he is walking with Christ. I don't mean the kind of feel good "he's in a better place" sort of comfort.  I mean the deep, hold on to your hat whilst I throw off every harsh reality this world brings, raise my hands to the skies,  dance around and worship the creator comfort.  This world is not about us, its not about our happiness at all, but it is about Christ. It's about conforming into his image because he is worthy of praise and glory!! Its about knowing the God who created the world for himself and by himself. This world is not the end! I would even venture to say the end is not heaven, in a sort of sense that society believes. The end is Christ. Your end is Christ. Regardless of if you chose to bow to him on earth or not! Your end is you kneeling to God! Jerry's God.

I also want to encourage you with this. Jerry is not in heaven because he was a hero, or because he did good things, or because he learned from his mistakes. No, Jerry is in heaven because of CHRIST!! Because of Christ's work on the cross. Christ lived a perfect life and died in Jerry's place so that Jerry's sin may rest on Christ's head!! God thank you for saving Jerry, and thank you for my time with him!! To live is Christ and to die is gain!! Oh to see what Jerry has gained!!

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