Walk The Walk

For those of you who don't follow me on social media or aren't Facebook friends with me, its time for a sad update. On August 27th my father-in-law passed away. He courageously fought lung cancer and its side effects for the last 4 years and that weekend we said goodbye as he went home to be with Jesus. I rejoice knowing that he is no longer in any pain or fear, but the last two weeks have been the longest weeks of my life. It was so full of sadness and confusion and by the end of it I just felt numb. After the service and burial on September 2nd, it all became real again. He's gone and we as a family and individually need to figure out how to grieve, cope, and eventually continue living life.

I don't necessarily know if I am writing to really inform the blog world of this loss or more for me, to get it all out and use writing as a catharsis and tool to get closer to healing. In any case, I want to share about the type of man my father-in-law was. Maybe you knew him, maybe not. However, I hope that this post encourages you to be better and puts the importance and frailty of life into perspective for you.

Before I begin I lastly want to say THANK YOU to everyone who brought meals, sent flowers and cards, texted or called, and came to support our family at the service last weekend. Your love means the world to us. Your kind words, stories, and hugs are little things that show us how loved Mark Gettis, Sr. was and how loved we as a family are.

Something that I loved about my father-in-law was how he always liked to have fun. He was always cracking jokes, being silly, and making sure everyone had a good time. He loved his family and loved helping others. He was always ready to serve others at work, at church, and even those he had just met! Most importantly, he loved Jesus. He was one of those guys that didn't just talk the talk; he walked the walk. He lived his life and embraced all it had to offer. He cared about people.

His servants heart and kindness were things that impacted so many people. His love for me and acceptance of me into his family is something I will never forget. He was an amazing father to Mark and Betsy, a devoted and loving husband to Kim, and a great friend to many, many people. Even when he got sick, he did what he could to continue helping others and blessing them in whatever ways he could. His kindness was indescribable and something I will always try to imitate.

As we all try and deal with the loss of such an amazing family member, I'm going to try and remember two things. The first one is his life verse, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men." The second is this: No matter what life hands you, sickness or loss or uncertainties, we can rest in the promises of God. He promises to care for us. He promises to love us. He promises to provide for us. When we rest in Him and rely on Him for strength it will get us through things easier than if we try and do it on our own.

Looking for the good in life and helping others and putting their needs before our own and loving our families and serving Christ are things that Mark Gettis, Sr. valued and those things brought him joy and influenced so many others. He left a legacy that I feel so blessed to have been a part of. Getting to call him "Dad" was such an honor.

If you would like to make a donation in his memory, we are directing people to For Pete's Sake. They sent our family to Disney last spring and we had such an amazing time! They are such a great foundation helping cancer patients and their families "take a break from cancer."

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