Happy birthday!

Today you would’ve turned 48 years old.

2019 also will mark the five year anniversary of you going to heaven! How can that be?! I wonder what your days look like in heaven. I can’t even imagine.

You are so loved Doug! Your fun loving spirit was so infectious…even as a little boy! You were the best brother that God could’ve given to me.

Love you and miss you so much!

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Happy Birthday Doug!

Today is Doug's birthday. I imagine we would have had a huge celebration for the milestone of 45 years. Instead, my parents and I will have dinner together and probably share stories of this individual that infiltrated our hearts and lives forever. My words will be inadequate for the love that I feel for Doug but I will do my best.

Forty-Five years ago God blessed this family with Doug. Douglas Edward Hale III. Three years younger than me. I always felt the need to take care of him and speak for him as he was learning. As you grow up you learn understand that you can't do everything for them but you have to learn things on your own. 

One time, as part of a bible study group, I was asked to write down three characteristics of my immediate family. I wrote these words December 9, 2013. The three words I chose for my brother were...Brave, Funny, Determined.

He was BRAVE. He took cancer head on and knew that he need to rely on God's strength. Some days were harder than others. Some days he had questions and felt like he wasn't getting answers. God had answers and they weren't the answers I wanted to hear but God's plan is greater. I know without a doubt that Doug boldly approached the throne of God on April 8, 2014.

He was FUNNY. He made me laugh. He had a smirky smile that you couldn't help but laugh and smile yourself. I remember having laughing fits at the dinner table that would totally get us into trouble. I'm sure he always started it because he always was an instigator. I still look at his pictures and I still smile even though sometimes it is through tears because I miss him so much.

He was DETERMINED. He had opinions and he was determined for you to hear them. He knew how to do so many things. He was smart and knowledgeable. He knew what he wanted and nothing held him back from getting it. He was determined to win souls to Christ and cancer pushed him even more to get that message across. He was determined to be faithful to God through ANY circumstance.

There is a song entitled And Can It Be, every time I hear these words I can't contain the emotion. I always wonder what it was like when Doug approached the throne clothed in righteousness and with boldness to claim his crown. 

No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
— Charles Wesley, 1738

I love you Doug! I miss you as much today as the day you left this earth. You will always be in my heart and your memory and testimony is etched deep in my brain. Thank you God for giving us this special gift in Doug! Our lives have been forever changed because we knew him.

Photo Credit: Family Photo taken by http://www.digitalmemoriesdk.com/