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  • Writer's pictureAmy L. Sullivan

On Death and Dirt Bikes

We went to visit family this weekend.

Camping on Labor Day weekend with the Virginia cousins has become an annual tradition, but instead of camping, this year our travel held a different purpose.

My husband’s uncle is dying, and it was time to say goodbye. The doctors called. They said so. Come now. This is it.


Our family of four packed up the car expecting solemn conversations around a sick man, but instead, we discovered a man embracing death, the same way he lived life: with grace and faith. We found cars lining a long driveway and swarms of people with pots of food and arms lined with desserts and chow-chow (that’s a Southern relish for all of you northerners out there) and hearts bursting with stories.

A teary-eyed woman raced up the hot driveway eager to share how my husband’s uncle had led her father to Christ only last week. She needed to tell him. She wanted everyone to know.

“It’s been this way for days,” a cousin commented.

People filing into the house. Not to mourn, but to celebrate.

We ate dirt pie and homemade mac and cheese. We looked at photos from long ago and laughed about mullets. We reminisced and memorialized with jumping and water games and even with dirt bikes.



And in the middle of camping chairs and chaos, sat my husband’s uncle, a man much smaller in stature now than in his earlier years, but a man who has lived well and loved well. A man who stands nose to nose with death, but still points all to Jesus. A man who struggles to move, but will still offer to carry dishes to your car.

Will you pray for our family?


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