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September 9, 2010
Jay and I were up at 5am sharp this morning and after my prayers, my first thoughts were of my brother John’s life. It’s amazing how clear your mind is in the morning, especially when you’re at peace. I remember how quiet and reserved, yet strong-minded John was. I learned a lot from watching him at an early age, and I gained confidence from just the fact that I was John Maher’s younger brother.
Not too long before he passed, I was home for Thanksgiving, (Ant was living in California playing soccer and Mike was on deployment), and John just had his baby girl, Alivia, 3 months prior. So since our whole family was not home for the holiday, we would eat Thanksgiving dinner out. So my parents, John and I went to a country club for a buffet dinner and it was a packed house. When the buffet line opened, there was no real system as to who went up first. So it was a free-for-all to get into line. My parents and I proceeded to get into line while John was in the bathroom. When he came out, the line was so long, it wrapped around the corner and into the lobby. We all told John to jump in with us, but as if not to be seen or make a scene, he declined our invitation and patiently waited at the end of a very long line. I still remember sitting down with a full plate of food, as John humbly waited till everyone passed through the line. That was John’s servant hood attitude; he waited for everyone to go before him. He lived “The first shall be last and the last shall be first” mentality. I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it clearly now. It may have taken tragedy and prison for John’s actions to make sense to me, but “Blessed are the poor in spirit (Humble), for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” – Matthew 5:3.
“Oh but to only be as spotless as He.
I thank God for him.
Because He always hears me.”
“In all my works, like Him,
I’ll be a servant.
In all my words, in praise,
They’ll be so fervent.:
“There’s no way I could love Him any less,
Because of Him I’ve been so blessed.”
“I praise Him for putting me to the test;
Purifying me with fire so I could be my best.”
Poem written by John D. Maher 9-12-77+ 12-15-05