Bernie’s quiet life has resounding impact
A Brother Sister Love Like No Other
On June 1, my Darling’s beloved brother, Bernie Price, finished his course on this earth and passed into the loving arms of our Saviour. We had received the expected call from Bernie’s hospice nurse that he had slipped from his stage #4 COPD into an unresponsive state. We promptly left our San Marcos family, trusting God to keep him for our final farewell. In the peace-filled presence of the Lord, I read texts and played video farewell clips from our family. It was a sad and yet sweet 3 hours seeing precious Bernie and staff/friends for the first time in 12 Covid-19 lockdown weeks.
As we had not eaten, we agreed I would slip out to Panera and get soup. While there, Christopher prayed with me by phone that God would bring his Unc B home soon. And, dear friends, the Lord answered! I must tell you that it was as if Bernie was waiting for that special moment to be alone with his beloved sis to pass into the presence of the Lord. And as Nancy felt the life of his body leave, though it was profoundly sad, it was a moment of deep joy and wonder at the reality of Jesus, our Resurrection and Life! What a glorious moment that was! My precious bride by his bedside, gently rubbing his knee, lovingly ministering to him, when he took his last breath.
A Slow Walk To Salvation
Ever since I first met Bernie in 1985, he has always been a sincere, kind, and generous man, but also a very private man, never able to share his heart about any feelings or relational matters. 4 years ago after Mum passed home in glory, he moved to Texas, and we bought this home together. Living in the same home, he got to witness many a salvation and he’d always join hands in prayer but never his heart with even an Amen. In early December, because of his physical decline, he had moved from our shared home to a rehab hospital where between us we would visit him 2 or 3 times a day. I clearly remember on the 5th of December to all accounts, Bernie was very close to the end of life and was put in hospice care at the same facility. Early that morning on my way to see Bernie, after years of prayer and people sharing their testimonies, the Holy Spirit led me to ask my precious Brother-in-Love:
A series of simple questions with YES/NO answers that led to the assurance of his salvation:
Bro, you know that I absolutely love you? ~~ Yes, I know that. Would you be OK if I asked you some simple questions? ~~ Go ahead! Do you believe that, like me, you are a sinner? ~~ Yes, of course I am. Could you take a step of faith and say, “Yes, I believe the Bible is true? ~~ Yes. Could you take another step of faith, and even though you do not understand everything, say that you believe Jesus is the Son of God, both fully man and fully God and that He is alive today? ~~ Yes. Could you surrender your life to Him today and confess Him as your Lord and Savior? ~~ YES! We then reviewed God’s promises in John 3:16 and Romans 10:9 and Bernie became 100% certain of His salvation, we prayed asking God to fill us with His Holy Spirit of joy and love and thanked God for Bernie’s salvation!
God gave Bernie 6 more months of abundant and transformed life, having been set free to tell us in words what he had always felt in his heart. Two days later, Nicholas and Tegan came to visit Unc B and both were blown away by hearing for the first time from their Uncle “I love you, Nicholas!” “I love you, Tegan!” and I would almost laugh out loud with joy when I would hear, or read in a text, “I love you, Colin!” Those are words I had never heard! That is the power of God’s love.
Maybe You Need To Be Set Free To Say “I Love You”?
Bernie’s newly discovered love continued to expand into our family and to the people who cared for him at hospice……just read some of these testimonies. It was the day after his Unc B passed that Nicholas grasped the full reality and rarity of his Uncle and mother’s sibling love relationship to the degree that he posted this powerful love declaration on Facebook about his brother, Christopher.
From Nicholas – “I am so proud of you. I realize from your position it has to take a lot of courage to post this message. I think you are an outstanding role model of Christianity (I think a lot of that is thanks to dad Colin Millar). I love you and am so grateful to have you as my brother.”
From Tegan (precious Bride to Nicholas) – Bernard Price always thought of other’s needs before his own and would go out of his way to show his appreciation with kind gestures, whether it be an exorbitant amount of twizzlers, or a short text to remind you to take care of yourself. In the years together, there was never a time he wouldn’t appreciate watching over his faithful grand puppies. He will always have a special place in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.
From Chris – Having lived in different cities for the majority of our lives, I only knew Unc B through a few small words like, “ok kid… bye bye,” through his love for Mountain Dew, and his love for Reese’s. But a few years ago he moved to Texas, and we got to experience life alongside of this tender and loving man. Seeing him around our kiddos was like seeing him come alive in a way I never experienced before. From the way he loved my mom (his sister) to the way he adored our kiddos, I’m so grateful that we got to experience the beauty of Unc B’s heart over the past 4 years.
From Ashley – In Genesis, we learn that “God created man in his own image,” which means that each person reflects parts of God’s glory. Unc B was not a very mushy-gushy type of person, but he truly did love others. He was so detail-oriented, and that is how he loved people. He showed his love through small, extremely personal acts, such as bringing me a Reese’s egg (my favorite candy), getting Caleb toys from his favorite show, Paw Patrol, or doing a silly voice that made our little Ella laugh. He paid attention to what brought us joy and loved giving it to us. Isn’t our God like that? He knows every desire of our heart and loves to treat us in such personal ways to show that He uniquely loves each of us. Unc B displayed God’s detail-oriented-kind-of-love, and I’m so thankful I had the joy of experiencing it through being family with Unc B.
From Lori Gollner (nurse) – It was a great blessing to have met Mr. Price and be involved with his care at PMC. Every morning, his door would be open and he would always say, “Hi Lori.” Mr. Price was always in a good mood when I saw him. His attitude was always positive and upbeat. I will never forget his smile; it was genuine. Mr. Price was a nice man. I am blessed to have met him. He never complained. I would overhear him many times greeting the other members of staff, and he would ask how they are doing.
From Andreas (breathing therapist) – When I first met Bernie, the blinds had to stay closed, lights off, covers over his head. His numbers and labs were always good. I knew he was not going anywhere anytime soon. And then a miraculous change occurred. When it came time to move, it was out with the Old Bernie and in with the New Bernie. When Bernie got into a private room, he emerged with a new zest on life. He was up at 4:30am watching TV and texting like a high school boy. Life was everywhere and always smiling. Bernie and I had great conversations and fantastic visits. The new old Bernie was reborn, blinds open, lights on and no covers over his head. He spoke to everyone, especially his sister. I lost a friend, but have wonderful memories of our time together. Thank you, Bernie, for being my friend! Meet me in the light when my time comes. Love you My Brother, Andreas.
From Sarah “Kiddo” (Park Manor) – I started working at PMC 2 months ago. When I arrived, we were already dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak. The patients were isolated in their rooms and no family members were allowed to visit. We became the only family that these patients had. I will never forget the first time I met Mr. Price. He would always smile and wave and greet me with “Hey Kiddo” every morning. He was always offering snacks to us and made us feel welcome when we came to his room. He was always the first to say “good morning” and always very thankful for everything we did no matter how small it was. He was especially thankful and appreciative towards us in the last week and a half he was with us no matter how badly his situation had progressed. Although I only knew him for a short period of time, he made an impact on me that I will never forget. You will always be remembered, Mr. Price. Sincerely, Your Kiddo Sarah Folsom
“uniting the BODY OF CHRIST through PASSIONATE PRAYER until HIS KINGDOM comes!”