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  • Jennifer Z. Major

"Well done, good and faithful servant."

These are my in-laws. John and Stella Major. This photo was taken at The Ontario Camp of the Deaf in August of 2014. He would have been 97. I think. She would have been 87.

And yes, they're both deaf.

That day, my husband, his brother in law and a bunch of our kids took these two lovebirds on a boat cruise around the little lake. You will notice the fabulous shade of lipstick she's wearing. She is never without some fabulous lipstick!

Last night, at the age of 99, surrounded by his wife and some of his family, John Albert Major left this earth and walked into the presence of God.

Yes, he lived a long and amazing life.

Yes, he left an unparalled legacy. He was the patriarch of a big family. Six children, thirteen grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren.

Yes, we shall share stories of him for decades to come. husband and his five siblings have lost their Dad. Stella has lost her husband of 68 years.

Yes, sixty eight years.

He suffered from dementia for the last two years or more. Since then, more often than not, he didn't know who she, or anyone else, was.

He'd been in a care facility for deaf seniors with dementia. On Saturday, he fell asleep for his usual afternoon nap. But he didn't wake up. They put him on pain meds and then on oxygen.

Last night, he opened his eyes, looked at his wife of 68 years and mouthed "I love you."

Then he was gone.

For 99 years, he had never ever heard a sound.

Nothing. Not a thing.

It is a great comfort to us that the first words he will hear are those of God, welcoming him into His presence.

And then?

The thunderous music of angels and the praises of God's people.

Rest in the arms of God, Grandpa. You were loved. You will be missed.

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