We met him at the ripe age of two. Aaron was a precocious kid who would break away and run from you. He was our dear friends Anthony and Lorrie’s oldest son. As parents they sought out the best for their sons. Aaron attended St. John Neuman Catholic School and then transferred to St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Colorado Springs. The commute from Pueblo to Colorado Springs is 45 minutes; this was a sacrifice his parents made for him. That’s what we parents do; we provide and we keep trying to guide our children in the right direction. Through the years Aaron grew to become a charming young man. He never outgrew that sweetness of an innocent child; it was part of his nature. I have always felt his heart was special because he could laugh at anything or turn bad situations into something positive. He was exposed to the finer things in life but never sought after them. The only thing that brought him joy was to be surrounded by people he loved.
His parents, Lorrie and Anthony named him Aaron because they loved the name, but God had a big part in naming him too. Aaron is a strong Biblical name; he was the older brother of Moses. All Jewish high priests come from the bloodline of Aaron. His name means “high mountain, exalted.” When Moses could not speak, God put the words in Aaron’s mouth. When Moses could no longer hold up his hands, Aaron came alongside him and held them up for his brother. This is how Aaron was to his family and friends; he was their support through any trial.
Exodus 17:12 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
12 Moses’ hands, however, grew tired; so they took a rock and put it under him and he sat on it. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady until sunset.
Aaron was true to his name; he was highly exalted. Aaron was the first-born son, and the Bible speaks of this as being a blessing. From his birth he was a blessing to his family. He was consecrated to the Lord on the day of his baptism.
Luke 2:23 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
23 just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,”
According to the coroner’s report Aaron’s cause of death was a ruptured lower intestine. This type of illness does not come on suddenly; it takes years for this condition to become life-threatening. Aaron never once complained about his condition. His suffering was discreet because he did not want anyone to worry about him. Though he lived with his father and brother, neither of them had any idea about his illness. Both Anthony and Marcus were with Aaron when the Lord took him home. This, too, was part of God’s plan.
Why He Died
Only God can answer this looming question. When someone is taken from us unexpectedly, God wants to get our attention. If the average life expectancy of a man in the United States is 76 years, Aaron lived only half of his life, but his life had a purpose, and his death has meaning. In Aaron’s 38 short years he made a difference. Aaron will be used by God in his passing because it is part of the Lord’s plan. It’s a wake-up call to help us understand the fragility of life. We are to cherish every moment.
Though Aaron’s parents were divorced, he never chose sides; he loved them both equally. Not a day would pass without Aaron calling his mother. They cooked and spent endless hours together, talking about what mattered to them. Aaron lived with Anthony, his father, and Marcus, his younger brother. Aaron got the best traits from both of his parents; he was gifted with a combination of both of their personalities. He was hospitable and social, and oozed of love for his family. His relationship with his aunts was that of extended mothers, and he had many. Aaron visited Vicky, Carolyn, Elsie, and Penny on a regular basis.
Aaron left the world like an artist with his canvas half-painted. The vision I get of his finished work is that of a road well traveled by many, lined with myrtle trees blooming in shades of white, soft pink, and deep purple. These trees will always remind me of Aaron because they were in full bloom on the day he took his last journey. The myrtle tree is a symbol of God’s blessing.
Zechariah 1:11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
11 And they answered the angel of the Lord, who was standing among the myrtle trees: “We have been patrolling the earth, and now the whole earth rests quietly.”
For 12 years Aaron was being engrafted into the Word of God through his Catholic teachings. Every year during Lent he gave up alcohol; he did this faithfully. He learned how to use the teachings of God to apply them to his life. He honored his mother and father and loved his younger brother Marcus beyond measure. He understood the “Golden Rule” and lived a life of loving his neighbor. He will make a difference in his passing because those who knew him will remember the loving times spent with him. Their memories of Aaron will be sweet.
Dear Lord, Lorrie, Anthony and Marcus are in great pain; their hearts are shattered with the loss of Aaron. I pray that in Your Divine Mercy, You will grant them special graces to get through this trial. They love You Lord, let them know that Aaron is resting in Your arms. Lord, give them a sign that Aaron is now at peace and no longer in pain. Allow them to be at peace about their great loss. Lord, allow other friends and family members to come alongside them and lift them up in prayer. Bring those who have lost their way back into Your kingdom. The world, as we see it today is darkness, but with, God, comes light. Allow Aaron’s passing to become that beacon of light to guide others toward the right path. Jesus We Trust In You!
I will continue to pray and offer my communion on behalf of my friends until the Lord releases me from this obligation. Good night sweet boy.