Forever in our hearts . . .

This is new to me, this blogging thing. I have been mulling it over for quite some time. Two plus years, actually. My brother, Stephen, encouraged me to begin a blog. He sweetly believed that I had something to say that others may want to read. So here I am, finally giving it a go. But he's not here to cheer me on and laugh and cry over my posts with me. 

October 19, 2013 I received the call that left me on the floor in tears: my beloved oldest brother was gone. Gone from us and present with his loving Savior in heaven. It was sudden. Unexpected. And paralyzing. I adored him. Looked up to him. Leaned on him. Loved him. And I miss him terribly now. We didn't have enough time; I never expected to say goodbye so soon.

He was the mastermind behind all my graphics for Elly Bath and Body. We labored over all the designs together. I would suggest a broad idea, and he *got* it. Not only that, but he made all my ideas become beautiful works of art that I could never have come up with without his incredible creativity. He created this website for me; he worked late nights and early mornings and long weekends to help the dream I had of beginning this business become reality. I wouldn't be here without his help.

So now, 4 months after losing him, life continues. It hurts, living life without him. But my Lord gives strength to go on, and we begin enjoying again, moments little and big. Our memories warm us, cheer us. We laugh and cry and I hug my loved ones a little tighter, a little longer, never knowing how much time we each have. 

Here I am, finally finding the words to say how I loved him and how I miss him. I look forward to reuniting with him in heaven someday. For now, I write this blog . . . this journal to commemorate special moments in my life, my thoughts and ideas. It seems fitting to write about Steve for my first entry. He was the one who explained to me what a "blog" is! He expressed himself so graciously through words; I will strive to do the same. He was funny, creative, expressive and caring. I hope I can convey those qualities as well. Although he's no longer with us, he has left a mark of love in our hearts forever. 

I wish Steve was here to celebrate this tiny little milestone with me. (And fix my grammatical errors!)

Raymond Stephen Namie

Raymond Stephen Namie