The first time I ever heard Frank Jones sing was at his son Brandon’s funeral back in 2001. Brandon died of cancer when he was far too young. Before he died he asked his Dad if he’d sing “It Is Well with My Soul” at his funeral. It was just about his last request and Frank knew he’d have to sing it. I don’t know how he did it. I pray to God I never have to attend the funeral of a son, I really pray for that specifically. Dads ought to never outlive their sons.
Frank Jones sang again Sunday, this time at the graveside of his daughter-in-law Jennifer Jones. When the tornado ripped through Concord on April 27th Garrett and Jennifer Jones held onto each other tightly and got into the bathtub, the smallest place they could get, the place they’d been told would be a good place to be if the weather got really bad. Well, the weather got really bad and Garrett wrapped his 6 foot 4 inch body around his wife and held on for all he could. They had been married just 8 months and everyone says they were just perfect for each other. When rescuers pulled them from the debris Garrett was covered with injuries. He had splinters and dirt all over him. Jennifer, on the other hand, was as clean as when the storm hit. Garrett had held on tight, had protected her with all his might. Jennifer just had one injury — a fatal one to the head that took her life.
You can see a good crowd in the picture above at Jennifer Jones funeral early Sunday. More than a hundred people gathered under and around two green tents and listened to a preacher, tell of how rich and happy Jennifer’s life was. He spoke of her laughter and her contagious smile. He talked about how happy Garrett and Jennifer were together. Most importantly he spoke with confidence of her faith, her salvation and her baptism. He spoke about how Jennifer is now in the presence of God. I know something about the preacher who spoke, and he believes what he said Sunday and so do I.
Garrett and Jennifer couldn’t take a honeymoon when they married, so they saved up and were supposed to leave on a cruise last Saturday and would probably have been getting back home about now. Oh, the brevity of life and how suddenly our brief time here can come to an end. As I write this, Garrett Jones is clinging to life. He knows Jennifer didn’t survive, I hope he knows so many are praying that he does. If you’re one to pray, please say one for Garrett Jones tonight, and while you’re at it say one for Jennifer’s family too. I just can’t imagine the depth of their loss.
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well; it is well with my soul.
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