By Kim Wittmers:
On Sunday, March 11, I made the trek to Chaska to visit JJ. I brought along the finished scrapbook and JJ asked me to read it. On the last page I put the poem by Robert Frost, "The Road Less Traveled." We spent time talking about the road JJ was on. We both knew it wasn't the road he chose, but he was thankful his friends and family were walking it with him and that made all the difference.
I asked him if he was scared. He thought about it for a moment and replied, "No, just a little nervous." He told me he didn't want to miss all the amazing things here that his friends and family will experience. But he also said there will be amazing things in heaven. He just couldn't have the best of both worlds.
We talked about how his family and friends left behind will miss him the most. That we will carry him with us forever in our hearts. That his life will go on because of his love for us and Christ.
We talked about our youth trips at COG, the late night discussions about God, faith, purpose and the spiritual high we always got on those trips. We always wanted that spiritual high to last forever. I told JJ through my tears that he's going to have that high for eternity. That he will be made whole again and will understand everything. Somehow, I think he knew this before he left.
The last thing we talked about was why he didn't go into youth ministry. He didn't think he had the qualifications and didn't know what to put on his resume. I said he was over qualified with all the volunteer work he did at church in the youth program. I could have written a reference letter for him just like I did for all those college entrance forms. He joked and said, "Well, maybe I should put it on my resume for the Big Guy," and pointed up. I laughed and said, "He already knows."
JJ asked me to stay longer, but I knew he slept more often than not. We said our good byes and that we would see each other soon.
It's been just over three weeks and I still find myself in tears. Not a day has gone by in my life since I left COG, that I didn't think of JJ. Something reminds me of him - a runner, baseball, camping, church, a comment on the radio, my son. Life - I guess.
I thought he was invincible, I just never knew how invincible he is. He beat cancer, just not the way I expected.
Peace and love -