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The Passing of Giants of the Human Spirit

July 26, 2017 by Herbert Daughtry

Eulogy for My Baby Brother, Jacob Samuel Daughtry (October 18, 1938-June 27, 2017), the Fifth Son of Bishop Alonzo Austin Daughtry and Emmie Cheatham Daughtry

Part Three

Maybe, Jake knew something else, if not consciously, but surely, unconsciously – making people happy can make them healthy. I don’t know if he knew the Scripture, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

There is health in good news. This is confirmed by doctors of the mind, body, and spirit. There was an article about a study published in the Daily Challenge, a New York based daily newspaper, on May 2, 2014. It said that even the aging can benefit from humor therapy.

“Laughter, a well-known stress reliever, can help lessen the damage that the stress hormone cortisol can cause the body: increasing the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease — making laughter, the best medicine after all.
“Gurinder Singh Bains of Loma Linda University and colleagues showed a 20-minute laugh-inducing funny video to a group of healthy elderly individuals and a group of elderly people with diabetes.
“Both groups were asked to complete a memory assessment that measured their learning, recall and sight recognition, while a control group completed the same tasks without seeing the video. Cortisol was measured at the beginning and end of the experiment.
“The study, presented at the Experimental Biology annual meeting in San Diego, found a significant decrease in cortisol concentrations among both groups who watched the funny video. In addition, those who watched the video showed greater improvement in all areas of the memory assessment when compared to the controls, but the diabetic group had the most dramatic benefit in cortisol level changes. ‘Our research findings offer potential clinical and rehabilitative benefits that can be applied to wellness programs for the elderly,’ Bains said in a statement.’ The cognitive components — learning ability and delayed recall — become more challenging as we age and are essential to older adults for an improved quality of life: mind, body, and spirit. Although older adults have age-related memory deficits, complimentary, enjoyable, and beneficial humor therapies need to be implemented for these individuals.'”

Yes, I bring, to this sad occasion, a heart filled with grief and regret. Perhaps, it’s all too human. I deeply regret that we didn’t spend enough time together. We didn’t talk to each other enough. We didn’t see each other enough. We didn’t communicate, telephone, or correspond enough. We didn’t say, “I love you. I appreciate you. I admire you, dear brother,” enough. Oh, Jake said it. He always said it to me. I’m not sure if I responded with equal vigor and frequency.

Now, he’s gone.

Spend quality time with your loved ones! Tell them often that you love, appreciate, and admire them.

Well, we’ve come to say so long, but not good-bye to a wonderful human being – my baby brother. A quote from the Shakespearean play is applicable to him: “His life was gentle; and the elements so mixed in him, that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, THIS WAS A MAN!”

Implied in the “so long” is the belief that we will see each other again. That belief is grounded in the faith of our fathers and mothers, as expressed in the great songs of our faith. I know that they had double meaning. Some say the songs were codes for the oppression and slavery on earth, and the hope for freedom and joy in distant lands as well as the hope for heaven.

“Swing low, sweet chariot,
coming for to carry me home…
I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home….
If you get there before I do…
Tell all my friends I’m coming too.”

“I’ve been tossed and driven…
I got no place to call my home,
but I’ve been hearing of a city,
and I’m trying to make it my home.”

It is grounded in the hymns of the church, “Going Up Yonder”:

“If you ask me where I’m going?
I’m going up yonder.”

Most of all, our faith is grounded in Scripture. Jesus said, “You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thank God for the hope! So long, Jake! We will see you again after awhile. In that day, “God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Greet our father, mother, brothers (Lonnie, W.E., and Bob), relatives, and friends who have gone on before. Tell them, “I’m coming, too.” In the meanwhile, we will continue the struggle for a better world.

The End.