Sunday, April 7, 2013


"…we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord" -2 Cor. 5:8 My awesome brother Pelham passed away a few days ago. Surrounded by most of his family, he took his last breath and immediately his suffering ended and peace began. He went home. Most of us had spent the week with him at MD Anderson in Houston where the excellent Staff did all they could to stem the tide of the suddenly super aggressive cancer that he'd been battling for over ten years. But none of that matters now. Pel is home. Home is an awesome place. It's cozy, predictable, smells just right and feels secure. But home is not a house. Robin Hobb wrote, “Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more.” She is so right. It's all about the people; it's all about family. A year ago, Pel decided to move to Fort Worth from Colorado, where he'd lived for a long time. We were all a bit surprised, but excited that he was moving closer to family in Texas. It became apparent that along with his TV and clothes, he was also bringing something else back with him: cancer. We were hoping it wouldn't be allowed to cross the Colorado-Texas state line, but cancer knows no boundaries. So, he bought a house here in Fort Worth and he came home. I think he intuitively knew that his days were short. He probably never shared all the details of how sick he was with us. Like all us "tough" Staples boys, Pel was hard on the outside and soft on the inside. No matter how sick he was, there wasn't a time that I called Pel that he didn't say how well he was doing. "I'm great", he would say, "How are you?" Many times, I thought I knew better. I knew he was super sick, but Pel refused to give in to the sickness. There's a story about a man who was asked how he was doing, "I'm OK, under the circumstances." The reply back was, "Well, what are you doing under there?" Pel refused to be dictated by his sickness. You could call that "denial," I guess, or maybe it was something even better. Maybe it was more "acceptance" of the difficulty and a "moving on" in his spirit. But Pel also knew that he was human. And when the days are difficult and the load heavy, there's simply "no place like home." Though he missed his loved ones in Colorado, I think Pel felt like it was time to be with family in Fort Worth. So he set up shop right here in Texas. But his sickness had another agenda. There's another Home and it makes our home here on earth seem like a cheap hotel room. It's called Heaven. And though we only know a few of the details, we know it's awesome. Over the years, Pel and I had long talks about God. A few months ago, he wrote me a long letter about his faith. In it, he said, "I do believe in God and I do pray" and listed 7 reasons why he believes. I think he heard the voice of God calling him Home. Pel lived a remarkable life. As a physician, his healing hands served and preserved life for countless men, women and babies. He raised three wonderful sons and was a loyal friend to so many people. He was a great brother to Marc, Bob and me as he simply took responsibility for his little brothers. Since my dad died in 1988, he called and checked up on us often. But ultimately, he heeded the call of God and went home. So, have a blast Pel. Enjoy the safety and security of Heaven. All the detail questions about God don't matter now, just rest in His presence. Enjoy the absence of pain and the presence of peace… and a marvelous homecoming. By Eric Joseph Staples © To see obituary:

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