May 17, 2011, I gave birth to and said good bye to my first born child Titus Bristow. Over the next few weeks leading up to his birthday I plan to share with you the family tributes that were written in his honor.
This first one was written by my sister in law Talitha.
“My Epistle to Titus”
You are a beautiful baby. You really can’t help it with Tanner and Megan as your daddy and momma. When I got to hold you yesterday, I kissed your soft cheek and stroked your silky black hair. I’m so sad that I will never get to play with you and tell you stories, but maybe I’ll get to give you a copy of this letter someday when I see you again. These are the things I ‘d want to tell you the most if you could’ve grown to understand.
Your momma told me yesterday that Jesus would have to take care of you and raise you, and that was ok with her because he would do a lot better job than your Daddy and she could. I knew she was right, but I also know that you would’ve had the best possible parents on earth.
Your parents are described in the book of Titus, after which you were named. Your Daddy is blameless, a steward of God, not self -willed, not soon angry, a lover of hospitality, just, holy, temperate, and holding fast to God’s faithful word. (Titus 1:7-9) Your momma loves your daddy, loves you, is sober, is discreet, chaste, keeps her home well and is obedient to your daddy, so that she will not blaspheme the Word of God. (Titus 2:4-6)
I know they would have taught you the faithful words of God that they believe, which summed up, would have been this–“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldy lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 2:11-14; 3:3-7)
Your parents chose to name you Titus, which means “defender.” It reminds me of where David writes to God in Psalm 5:11–“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Although this is a hard time for your parents, they do love and trust God. God promises he will defend them. Trusting God’s faithfulness brings joy to them even though they’ve lost you, their precious son. Your life would have been one of joy, because of who your parents are.
We all miss knowing you, but we know God is our Father; we know he loved us enough to send his only begotten Son to die for us and his Spirit to comfort us; and because of that, we know we will see you again.
We thank God for you, little Titus Bristow. I love you.