Tomorrow will be Bradley's 39th birthday. He died on Monday from unknown causes. My cousin, Brad, was 16 years younger than I am so I didn't know him well during our growing up years. Over the last several years we saw each other every 2-3 years at reunions, so I did not know him well. What I did know was that he was kind, easy to talk with, loved food, helped his mom on the farm, wanted to get married but never found the right girl, lived in a small rural community, was close to his family and was much loved. I will miss him. And my heart is filled with sorrow for his mother, his brother and family, his sister, and the rest of the Petersen extended family. One cousin was close in age and very close in friendship to Brad and my heart hurts for him as well. So much sadness.
But at the same time there is gladness. I imagine the reunion of Brad with his father and his older siblings that he never knew in this life - it brings tears to my eyes. Also, Brad will be welcomed by our grandma and grandpa. I look forward so to seeing them again, myself. There will also be Aunt Betty, Aunt Elaine and Aunt Louise. And my own father will be there, too, I am sure. Can you just imagine their joy? Brad, we will miss you until our sojourn on this earth is finished, then we will meet again.