In memory of my brother Merle

I got a call 10 days ago that my brother Merle at age 61 had about 3 days to live. He has had bladder cancer for several years and seemed to be doing pretty well the last time I saw him.

Two of my brothers went to his side. Thankfully there is a Veterans hospital and hospice unit near where he lived and he got good care and kindness at this point in his life. My three brothers had some good times visiting. Merle seemed a bit better.

But more importantly Merle accepted Christ as his savior! I have been praying for Merle for years and this is a wonderful answer to many prayers for his soul.

Merle passed away yesterday morning.

A little background, we were 10 children and Merle is the 7th child, but the 6th boy. I came three years later. He was very intelligent and did well when he put his mind to something.

Merle is the first child on the left side. I am the only girl. Taken in 1961 when our family lived in a one room school house due to a fire that took our entire house and furnishing.

Here is our family right after we moved into the old school house. We were grateful to have a place to live but the grief from our losses is on most of the older children faces and our parents of course. Our sister had married and therefore wasn’t in this picture. People in the community had given us many things to help our family and me a new doll after we lost everything in the fire. I am hugging him.

Merle was drafted into the Army and he went to Fort Benning, Georgia for basic training and I remember attending the graduation. He went into the 92nd Airborne division and we were all real proud of him. He went on to serve in VietNam.

I remember one special memory…he really attracted to this girl. He wanted to impress her…so he asked our mom to help him learn to sew, so he could make his girlfriend a dress. Now he was anything but a tough guy but he wanted to show a special kindness and love to the girl. I don’t think she really appreciated it…but I remembered and thought how sweet and romantic it was.

A picture taken of our family in 1988 right after Kent and I came home form Brazil for our missionary furlough. Merle is the last one on the right in the back row. He isn’t looking at the camera.

Merle had many things that bothered him and now I know he is at peace and in God’s arms. I am so glad that he was willing to admit his need for God.

As you read this, I am on my way to his funeral. I will be with the rest of my family and pray that I can be the testimony that I can be.

Jan for the Roaming Reimers

2 Responses to “In memory of my brother Merle”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Blessings to you, Jan, as you minister to all your family during Merle’s promotion to heaven to be with his Lord and Savior. So thankful to hear that he accepted Christ and is now at peace. May your entire family have the peace that only Christ can give.
    Sending our Love and Prayers from Dick & Rachel


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