One of the last things my little brother asked me to do for him with was to “tell all the people I love them”.. even insisting that I GO right then & accomplish the task!
And so, I suppose that is what I’m here to share with you: if there was any doubt for you that Jake loved you, I’m here to settle that once & for all.
He loved you. He loved all the people.
Jake didn’t often talk about his deep capacity for empathy- He truly took on the feelings of others. Oftentimes we would sit on my couch late into the night and talk about this side of us that was our shared gift. He learned how to harness his gift of empathy to connect with others in unique ways that made them know he really saw them & loved them. He was wise beyond his years & would always coach me toward a better version of myself. I will miss those talks so much. Jakes empathy was one way he showed us he loved us.
It’s no secret Jake loved to have fun. One of my favorite things was to hop into his car and count how many different sports were represented. Golf shoes, frisbees, long boards, tennis rackets, pickle ball paddles, I once got a good laugh that there were ski gloves in the mix even though it was the middle of July. “You never know!” He told me.
Fun was another way Jake showed his love for others. If you had the chance to be apart of Jakes zest for life & fun.. know that was his way of telling you he loved you. Surfing? Driving with windows down & music up? Camping under the stars? Road tripping cross state lines? Concert hopping? Tree fort building? Skiing? Laughing until your cheeks hurt? And everything in between? Fun was Jakes path to people.
Anyone who was around Jake over the last 6 years and 8 months will tell you he never complained about the hard things in his life, and there were many. All the fun he made came with a price. Most of which he tucked away from view. I believe Keeping his pain from others was a way he showed his love. He wanted more than anything to protect us from feeling sad.
That may have left some margin for wishing perhaps there could have been more said, more shared, or more done. I know Jake would tell you to have no regrets. He trained mentally every single day to push through the pain or disappointment or fear or anxiety without complaint, as a form of love for those around him. This was Maybe the most incredible part of him of all. One I know I don’t feel I deserved, and at times I didn’t even want! But this was Jakes way. And I can see now what a pure Christ like love he felt for others & I am sure I can speak for many that we are humbled & honored to be the recipient of such love.
So much was stripped away from him over the last year especially. And in the end, there was a few things Jake held onto with everything he had.
His love for his family & all the people.
And His faith that Jesus was His Savior & brother.
Love for others & God.
Watching him hold onto those these things in the midst of his suffering was something I’ll never be able to forget. What struck me most was how simple it all became. I think i tend to over complicate things like faith. Through the lens of my little brothers last weeks, I can see how the small & simple truths are the ones that keep us tethered to light .. no matter what. I could see that in some moments, Jake simply CHOSE to believe. He chose to trust in things he couldn’t see or know for sure. He leaned into the unknown relying on his personal convictions and revelation in absolute heroic ways. He didn’t fear what he didn’t know and instead rested in what he did, knowing God would help him with everything else.
I wish Jake was here to share his powerful testimony and make you laugh and smile his huge loving smile. I wish more than anything he was here to tell us where exactly he is and why he had to suffer so much.
I suppose all I can do while we wait for the day when we can be together again, is stand here and echo my own personal witness to Jakes as I fully make good on my promise to him..
Loving people is the key to happiness
Laughter is really good medicine.
Jesus is our brother.
God is real & will hold space for our sorrow and our joy.
You are loved.
“All the people”
May we have the courage to live more like Jake. Full of empathy, fun, adventure, and the light of Christ. Loving others, God & choosing to be happy every day that we can.