It was as though the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Steel yourself; this is it.” My ex-wife Tina was crying and told me our son, SGT Eddie Jeffers, had been killed in Iraq. Two hours later, a military sedan with two soldiers from the casualty assistance office, pulled up in my driveway.
At one point, the chaplain marveled “at how well” I was taking the news. I cannot tell you how many times over the next ten years I heard that. I am thankful for each one of them because it has allowed me, my wife Karen, and my two daughters Becky and Tiffany to share the hope that is within us.
SGT Eddie Jeffers is famous for writing an article titled, “Hope Rides Alone,” published on the New Media Journal (NMJ) by my good friend Frank Salvato. The article went viral on the internet, was mentioned on FOXNews and read numerous times on the radio by Mark Levin. After Eddie’s death, Mark and I became close friends.
After Eddie’s death, I wrote an article for NMJ titled, “Hope Rides Eternal.” In the article I wrote, “Since Eddie’s death on Wednesday our family has been lavished in amazing grace and love and we are literally being sustained by it.”
That holds truer today than when I wrote it. What was a family tragedy could have been tragic for my family. My girls could have been destroyed by losing their only brother, and instead their lives have been blessed by the grace of God. Whenever they felt sadness, they relied upon the blessed hope in the knowledge that because their brother and they have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, they will one day be reunited in heaven.
My wife Karen and I have grown closer in our relationship because of our love for Christ and each other, helping one another whenever the grief and sadness seemed too great to bear.
Eddie’s life and death have impacted countless people over the years. So many of you have reached out to my family in the last ten years. We are grateful and blessed by your kind and caring words.
No greater honor could be bestowed on Eddie’s life than for all who learn of his life seek and find a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Doing so won’t save you from facing a family tragedy, but it will help you through it and over time, the tragedy becomes less traumatic.
That is because no matter what you face in life, when you face it with the Lord Jesus Christ, hope is and always will be, eternal.
(Note from Dave: I've been carrying around these words in my head and heart for nearly a month. I finally wrote them down yesterday, which was the date Eddie was killed; September 19, 2007. It was on a Wednesday, the day, that he went to be with Jesus.)