Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In Loving Memory

~this is a repost from last year but since everything still applys I felt it appropriate~
Joseph Peter Berks
Feb 25, 1970 ~ Feb 09, 2000

I was so lucky to have even known Joseph. He was an awesome person that everyone loved. He was warm and friendly and made every person he was around feel like they were the most important person in the world while he talked to them. The happiest I have ever been in my entire life was while I was spending time with him. He brought out the very best in me. I worked every day being a better person because I just wanted to be my best for him, he brought out the most righteous desires in me. Anyone that knew him would say all the same wonderful things about him. His closest friends told me (after he died) that they wanted to be a better person when they were with him, he just had this incredible spirit that brought out the best in those around him.

I have forever engraved in my mind the moment I first met him. I wondered why this cute kid wanted to dance with me. He kept telling me how I was the most beautiful woman in the room (yeah, what ever... he was such a smooser). I thought he was funny and was just being over the top and that he was sooooo fun and I would probably never see him again. He and his friend went to the dance together and I ended up giving his friend a ride home. He NEVER let me forget that either. Since Joseph was so much younger than I was (10 years) I didn't take him serious for quite some time. I kept telling him we were JUST friends. He wanted me to be his girlfriend in the worst way. I remember telling him that he would stay longer in my life if he were my friend than he would if he were my boyfriend. He became the best friend I have ever known. He was my confidant, he was my shoulder to cry on, he was the first person I wanted to share anything with, he was whom I wanted/want to spend my eternity with. He would hold his fingers very close together and say "this is earth life", then he would hold his fingers as far apart as his arms would let him and say, "this is eternity", then he would say, "I want to spend eternity with you". One of the very hardest parts of dealing with any of this is that we weren't sealed when he died. Our earthly vows ended with his death.

Another moment that has forever been ingrained in my mind is Feb 9, 2000. My brother came into my room (it was very early in the morning and I was sound asleep) with his wife Cheryl, she standing in my doorway and he crouched close to me. His words were, "something horrible, horrible, horrible has happened". Never once as my mind raced through what could have happened that would warrant 3 horribles did I think of Joseph, I thought of my kids and what could have possibly happened to one of them. After all the LAST words Joseph uttered to me in person were that we had our entire lives to spend together and I needed to be with my kids right now, soon enough they would be grown and gone and we would still have each other. My brother went on to tell me about a horrific car accident where another very large vehicle rear ended Joseph's little Ford Festiva and that he had died. I asked about his friend but we deduced that since Randy only knew of Joseph that he must have already dropped his friend off. His friend later told me, that night Joseph was the happiest he had ever seen him. His accident happened less than 5 minutes after dropping his friend off.

One year to the day after he died our families traveled to Reno, Nevada to do Joseph's work for him. He wanted more than anything to be baptized and join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He had taken lessons from the missionaries and had been doing everything he could to be baptized. I didn't want him to wait a moment longer than necessary to be able to have all the blessings he was able to. His brother Jacob was his proxy. It was very fitting because of the closeness of the two of them. Jacob was still on his mission but we got permission for him to do his brothers work but we had to do it at the Reno Temple. It was a cloudy day and while they were baptizing Jacob for Joseph the room seemed somewhat darkened but as Jacob went under the water the room became so bright that I HAD to open my eyes and the clouds had parted for only a moment and the room was filled with light! I think Joseph was so happy that his joy beamed through the clouds and warmed our souls.

After ten years I still have a deep hole in my heart. It doesn't hurt as bad on the surface but deep inside I still feel pure agony for his absence. The only way this has be even tolerable is knowing he is with our Heavenly Father. I have always had childlike faith in heaven and what happens to us after this life. I have never doubted. I have always felt very calm about what happens when we leave the earth all my previous experiences with death have brought joy and peace in times where that joy and peace were miracles in and of them selves. For the first time, now, I questioned if what I had always know was true. Would I see him again, is this real or just something I have always told myself to feel better. I was actually in shock that I was even wondering. I had NEVER wondered before. I thought I knew the answer, then why was I afraid of never seeing Joseph again. A deep humble pleading to my Heavenly Father once again brought peace into my heart. I WOULD see Joseph again and Heavenly Father loves me and I will be okay. When my mom died 4 months before Joseph the room filled with joy as she passed. I could feel my grandmother holding me and felt a room full of joyous angles bringing her home. When I was told about Joseph's passing I felt him standing near me but didn't feel joy, instead I felt his spirit so deeply saddened for me and my pain. He was morning with me for MY loss. He could have been feeling joy for himself but he chose to be with me through my pain. I know he truly loves me. I have felt him many times since he has been gone. I felt his presence allot in the beginning and still do from time to time.

One of the greatest gifts Joseph has given me since his passing is he hand picked my, now, earthly companion. I imagine the two Joseph's in heaven trying their hardest to get Brent and I together. I know without a doubt that Joseph wanted me to marry Brent. He didn't want me to be alone and he wanted me to be with someone that would be kind and never speak a harsh word to me. He wanted me to be with someone that would treat me the way he did, and give me all the earthly things I would need and want. Joesph knew I could look past imperfections and see the spirit and potential inside of a kind, gentle man. He knew even better than I did that I needed Brent and would love him.
After he died I was looking through his things and found buried in his sock drawer a valentines card for me. He had already written in it and sealed it. How grateful I am he wasn't a procrastinater. There are too many stories to share on here but I am so grateful for Joseph and for being able to know him. I love that he loved me!