I have joy knowing my Brother, Friend, and Brother-in-Christ, Daniel Ruffin III is in the presence of Jesus. I ache knowing that I can’t pick up the phone and call him or do a drive-by on him whenever I happened to be in the Northeast.
He was the best brother a brother could have. We were became Brothers through marriage but He was as precious to me as a blood Brother. He was always there for me. He comforted me when I lost my wife (his sister, Lauretta). He always encouraged me in my career and ministry. He was there to celebrate with me when Angela and I got married.
My kids got to meet him for the first time 3 weeks ago. For all of them, it was love at first sight! They got to experience the awesomeness of “Uncle Dan-Dan” and he was equally taken with them. They connected on the whole superhero and video game universe but it was much deeper than that. He loved them because they were part of me and they loved him because he was part of me.
Telling them of his passing was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do as a parent – and they didn’t take it well. I think this was the first time my sons and I cried together.
We could talk about anything and there was never a dull moment whenever we got together. Dan could make you laugh until you needed “Depends,” LOL! He was kind and generous but he had a no-nonsense streak. He was a wise counselor and a peacemaker.
I could rattle off thousands more words in tribute to my Brother but I will close by saying this – He loved the Lord with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength. And he loved his neighbor as himself. He was (and is) a Citizen of the Kingdom of God and an Ambassador for Jesus. He was a soul-winner and a Mighty Man of God. He was an an extraordinary husband, an exceptional father, and an exemplary son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, and friend.
I love you with all my heart, Dan, and I miss you already.