One of the people that I know impacted my life was Bro. Jimmy Yarbrough, my preacher during my teenage years. He put a new face to christianity for me. He didn't have a perfect past, he wasn't polished, he didn't speak perfectly correct English, but there are 2 things he did perfectly, he loved the Lord and loved others like God loves us.
(This picture was taken by his daughter at Thanksgiving 2010)
Bro. Jimmy found out a few months ago that he had colon cancer. They tried a few treatments, but nothing worked and at the end of November, he was told nothing else could be done. Because his cancer was so bad, he was unable to eat anything. Hospice was called in to attempt to keep him comfortable. Bro. Jimmy had more fight in him and although he was unable to eat, he still hung on until Jan 6th which is when he passed away. He was of sound mind until the end and took care of many business things(selling his truck, trailer, horses, planning his funeral, etc) so that his wife wouldn't have to after he passed. He was also able to tell many people goodbye when they would come to visit him. I can't imagine how hard that was for the visitors or for him.
Bro. Jimmy always gave great advice. Two things, specifically, still stick with me to this day and I often find myself giving the same advice to some of the teenagers around me from time to time. I will share these 2 pieces of great advice with you.
1. I can see Bro. Jimmy now saying this to me. Bro. Jimmy always had a routine of standing at the back door of the church after service was over so he could shake hands with everyone as they left. He would shake my hand and say "Remember April, there ain't no man worth having what you have to offer." After I married Antonio, he would always tell me to be sure and remind Antonio how lucky he was. :)
2. His second piece of advice is my favorite! It makes sense and it often helped me make some wise decisions during high school and college. Bro. Jimmy's second piece of advice was "Never date anyone you wouldn't consider marrying." If you stop and think about this, it is such wise advice. Why waste your time with someone you would never want to spend the rest of your life with? You could be missing out on Mr. Right if you have your time tied up with Mr. Right Now!
Bro. Jimmy, you lived an amazing life and impacted so many lives. While I have no doubt you will be missed by so many here on earth, I know you are right where you have always dreamed and prayed of being. Please pray for Mrs. Dianne, his wife and his daughter and grandchildren. May they find peace in knowing he is no longer suffering with pain.