PHOTO: David Neal Jayne
GUEST PORTAL-ER JENNIFER LEBO
“Student of Grief” Jennifer Lebo was married for twenty-seven years to her beloved Dave who passed at the age of only fifty-four. Years earlier, she lost her father as a younger man as well. Willing to sit still as a student in the Classroom of Grief has made her a skilled teacher in that same field. She resides in Bensalem, Pa.
My dad David Neal Jayne was a fifth-generation apple orchard grower who said that farming was the only gamble he'd ever make. He loved the farm, and quickly became antsy when away from it for a couple days.
PORTALS TO HEAVEN is now on the Sound of Life radio station
throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
He worked hard, but frequently made time to involve me in what he was doing. I don't recall him ever saying “Watch me.” I just did. He kept providing new opportunities to learn and explore.
On December 30,1985, a friend's unexpected visit would prove to be a great gift. The television was turned off and our family talked together one last time. Dad joked that if there were jobs in heaven, he wanted to pave the gold street.
On New Year's Eve, Dad had been gone all day at meetings. He met us at the gym that evening for a celebration with the church. Four hours before his forty-eighth birthday, in the presence of church friends, of my mom, of my seventeen-year-old younger sister, and of the man with whom I was on my second date, my dad collapsed. The last thing I ever watched my dad do was leave for heaven. I couldn't follow, but I could live as he had showed me how to live. Hide God's Word in your heart, think well, work hard, love well, don't be afraid to speak truth, be respectful of everyone even when you're irritated, serve others humbly without being a doormat, keep a sense of humor.
For all he had to offer the world, Dad wasn't self-promoting. While 300 people attended his funeral, Dad was busy paving the streets in his new neighborhood with raw material that was mined from his heart.
Portal to Heaven: A humble and loving heart is a baton that Dad made sure I had a firm grasp on.
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass, he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. James 1:9-11ESV