Jonathan's Blog

Reflections on the glory of God

A Morning Reflection – Birthday Surprise

Today is my birthday.  For those inquiring minds that just have to know, I am now 54.  I don’t mind sharing that.  I believe every day is a blessing so in my logical brain, the more days I have been given, the more blessed I am.

Twenty years ago today, I received a huge birthday surprise.  It was a Tuesday morning, the day after Labor Day and I rode my bike the eight miles to work like I usually did back then.  Not long after I got started on my work day, I was called to our office lobby and told my wife was there to see me.  As I walked out to the lobby, I was feeling pretty good, expecting some kind of birthday surprise gift.  She wasn’t there for my birthday.  My bride was there to tell me that just hours earlier that morning my Dad had passed away, the victim of a heart attack at 64 years of age.  This was a complete shock to me; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

My Dad, Alfred Richard Cyr, Dick to his family and friends, and simply ‘Dad’ to my brother and I, was born in 1931 and raised on a potato farm in northern Maine during the Great Depression and World War II.  He served time in the Navy after the war in the early 1950’s. In 1959, he married Jessie McWhirter, my marvelous Mom, and in 1961 they moved to Florida before it was popular to do so.

My Dad, like myself, his eldest son, was a fairly quiet and calm individual.  He kept a lot of things to himself.  He was a fabulous father and a good and loving husband.  He was a very intelligent man who came up with some of the most ingenious little inventions while tinkering in his garage mostly in wood working.  He loved to make things out of wood.  I still have a baby crib he made for his only granddaughter, my little girl.  Well she is a grown school teacher now, but always my little girl.

Just over five years ago, my Mom joined her long lost best friend in eternity and I can believe there was a huge celebration at the pearly gates on that day.  I was blessed with wonderful parents and my only regret is that I didn’t get to know them even better as an adult.  I am eternally grateful to them for giving me life, for how they raised their two boys and for introducing me to Jesus Christ and His Church.

I missed my Dad as my children grew up without their grandpa, but thanks to one of two visions I have been granted in my life, I know that Dad didn’t miss a thing.  He experienced it all from the eternal perspective, the best seat in the house.

About ten days before he died, my Dad took me to an NFL preseason football game in Orlando as my birthday present.  Two of my sports heroes at the time, Dan Marino and Don Shula were on the field that night.  We had a wonderful night together, although the late evening totally wore Dad out.  I can still remember watching him drive away after he dropped me off at home in the early morning hours. I didn’t know it then, but that was the last time I saw him.  I do remember talking with him on the phone a few days later and can still hear him say as he hung up the phone “Good-bye Jonny, I love you”.

The wild thing is that the Lord used this tragedy in my life to draw me into a deep and personal relationship with Him.  I have so much more to learn, but because my Dad died when and how he did, I questioned God and He answered me and He consoled me.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, wherever you are in your faith walk today, please don’t shy away from asking God questions.  He will answer you (Matthew 7:7-8) and you will be better off for it.  Seek the Lord today and He will be found and if your parents are still this side of eternity, do me a favor and give them a call today and tell them thank you and that you love them.


September 5, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. Happy birthday! God bless you. It seems like He does everyday. God is faithful! Great encouragement!

    Comment by Chantal and Shekinah | September 5, 2015 | Reply

  2. Once again, you have brought me to tears! Your parents were very dear to me. Your memories of them speak to what wonderful people they were. Thanks for the uplifting words. You can be sure they are celebrating you today. Happy Birthday, Jonathan.

    Comment by Cindy | September 5, 2015 | Reply

  3. Thank you for sharing this unforgettable day in your life with all of us, Jonathan. For me, a day does not go by without thinking about my wonderful and loving parents and your beautiful story reinforced how blessed my sister and I are to have had such a terrific mom and dad. I hope you have a very blessed and the happiest of birthdays, too!

    Comment by Lolly Volk | September 5, 2015 | Reply

  4. Jonathan- first, happy belated birthday. second, your reflection brought me to tears. we have a similar story in losing our Father’s much to young and unexpectedly. and the blessing for me too is that his death brought me into a true relationship with my Heavenly Father. Thanks for sharing. God Bless you.

    Comment by Karin Alcock | September 7, 2015 | Reply

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