On June 21st, I got news that Ira, my Pastor's oldest son, was dead. At first I thought my hearing was bad, but no, it was true. Ira Anthony Walton, named after his father, at 33 years of age, was with the Lord.
The very moment Ira took his last breath, angels escorted him, his spirit, into the presence of the Lord. Ira is free from his earthly body, and now amongst the angels in heavenly places.
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A numb feeling came all over me. I believe every person had that same feeling sweep over them when they first heard of the tragic news. Ira was and will always be well loved. Ira was a one-of-a- kind, real special young man, and I think I speak for many in saying anyone could sense there was something extraordinary about Ira within a few minutes of meeting him. He had 'what we're all seeking in our own lives' going on, and inner happiness that couldn't help but ooze out, and his happiness with life shined brightly for all to see.
I've thought of his family, already missing his presence. His Father and Mother and brother and oh, his twin sister. They all must be devastated. But most of all, I thought of Ira's wife, Sheena. She was the one he'd given his love and his heart to. She caught his eye. and he married her 10 years ago. Sheena has it going on, too. The both of them were no doubt one very, special couple. They were young, and very much in love, and very happy together- it was obvious without a doubt.
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Sheena, I see you being strong for your four children. But I also know you miss your husband very much. I know this was all unexpected. You and Ira had so much planned for your dear family's future and it was coming true. But, Ira, being realistic and wise, made sure his family would be cared for, just in case. His love for you and four little ones is very evident, even now.
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I know you're probably not wanting any thanks for being strong in public and looking like all is fine. I can only imagine, how much your heart grieves in the night when you reach out and the other side of the bed is empty. I can only imagine how deep your grieving might be. My heart grieves with you. And if I'm correct, your grieving is shared by many others whom Ira touched. Your husband was one special man, but to you, a special friend, confidant, provider, protector, husband, companion, lover, and father of your children.
Sheena, you and Ira were about important business of raising your children and serving God together. That was very obvious that you were a strong, together team, and something you can always hold dear and special within your heart. Your children are some of the best-mannered and respectful children I have every met. That's why I've enjoy bringing little gifts and would like to spend time with them this Summer in the kitchen creating some eatables. Your children are a joy to be around. They are a direct reflection upon how you and their father spent quality time teaching them manners. Be very, very proud of that. And most important, your children have a firm foundation in their relationship with the Lord, again a direct reflection upon their parents. It is so wonderful that all your family is saved, and I'm certain little Isaac will follow the same path. And, I'm certain within your heart, knowing Ira is 'Home', and you will see him again, gives you a sense of pleasure.Your family is now even more special as Ira is in heaven overlooking you all and no doubt himself filled with such amazement exploring heaven in the Lord's presence.
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Ira, will live on in our hearts. He is missed, but for a short while. We all look forward to meeting again on the other side. His work and yours will continue on in your children and in you. He made an impact upon my life as well, in giving me an example of what a devoted, young, Christian family looks like. Thank you. And may God continue blessing your family abundantly.
With my sincerest respect and admiration, Katrina