Celebrating Gabe Fridays

Our friend Lenny Bernotas, pastor of Trinity Bible Church, preached a powerful sermon at Gabe’s memorial service called “Grace for Gabriel.” One of the many things that stuck with me from the message was Lenny’s admonition to remember how Gabe lived, rather than how he died. He quoted from Philippians 4:8

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

What good advice …  wisdom from God … wise, peaceable, etc.

Today is five weeks. I’d like to redeem this anniversary by dedicating it to a celebration of Gabe’s life and legacy. I’ll begin with a poem I wrote about him 10 years ago. Next Friday, I’ll post some work of Gabe’s—a poem, rap, cartoon or video. Something that celebrates his life and incredible gifts. But first …


You came sparkling into the world,

a firecracker bursting multicolored across the sky,

your soft brown skin glowing with delight at

everything your eyes beheld—

I loved you from the first.

You spoke in sentences sweet

when barely a year had passed,

and when the wedding bells did ring

a granite floor was laid beneath your tiny feet.

The Lord has made a miracle,

he’s made one bright and true;

he sent it shining through the night

to come reside with us.

Never from that swollen golden crimson time

until this frozen grey has

my heart known a moment without

beating just for you.

[original poem © cas, 1998]

[photo: Making Scary Faces with Mom, Fairless Hills, PA, 1986]


4 Comments on “Celebrating Gabe Fridays

  1. Silenced here. Awed. Your poem: prophecy, poignancy, and celebration rolled into one.

  2. Dear Chris & Jeff ,

    May god keep you and Bless you. Just as tears of joy and sorrow flow from my eyes every time I think of Christ,s torment ,suffering and brutal death on the Cross at Calvary for Sins of all mankind, These tears are no flowing from my eyes for the loss of your son Gabriel. I have so many things to say but I will limit them for now !

    Proverbs 3:5 Tells us ” Trust in the lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all yours ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

    In a letter Paul wrote to the Romans from Corinth probably in A.D. 56 he writes ( Romans 8:28) And we know that ALL things work together
    for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. It doesn’t matter how long age Paul wrote this because Jesus said The Earth and the havens shall pass away but my Word shall remain. What matters is that Jesus is in Heaven preparing a place for us, seated at the right hand of the Father And God is Control which is something that we cannot understand.

    I would just like to share with you that God loves you and I love you ! My Wonderful Wife Cheryl and I are lifting your Family up to God with the help of our church family . We are Praying to God for you in Our Lord Savior and masters name Jesus Christ Almighty. I,m sure I don’t have to tell you to “Stay in Faith” endure all things with longsuffering staying meek and humble.

    Your Friend and brother in Christ Jesus,
    rick ptaszynski

  3. Rick, Thank you for the encouragement and especially for the prayer support. We so appreciate it.

    Many blessings~

  4. Rick,

    I confess, I didn’t recognize your name from the spelling until Jeff read your comment and pronounced it aloud. I’m glad you found us. Life takes such unexpected twists and turns sometimes. God promises to be with us and to sustain us until the end.

    It sounds as if you are doing well. So glad to hear it!