The last few weeks have been very difficult. We lost one of our little friends, James Arkenau. He was 17 years old, in my two sons' band and also part of our family.
I've known James since he was 11. He and his family came to our church the same year that we started. He wanted to be on my praise and worship band for the jr. high kids. The band was called Stepping Stone and James was my first guitarist. He was so shy but not with me. He became one of my little buddies. James would come to our home, spend the night with my boys and my son Ryan also was one of his guitar teachers. Many times, I would go to James' school, pick him up and take him to practice with me at church on Wednesdays. He and I would talk and I felt like his big sister. Throughout the years, he became a big part of our family and I even named one of my puppies after James. We call him Sea'mus which is Irish (gaelic) for James.
My boys are in a band called 'Foreverisforever' a long with their friend Josh. James wanted to be in the band and although he was only 15 when he joined, he quickly became the lead guitarist and played beautifully. He would jump off the speakers and was a true performer. Everyone loved to see James' hair because he always had a different look.
James was an encourager. He touched thousands of lives with his message of hope through his belief in Jesus. He helped so many kids, one of them a friend of his in another state. I introduced them when they were 12 at our missions trip called JAM in Philadelphia. He kept in contact with Bethany and to this day, they remained tight friends. James touched lives in his school, church, in the outside world and on stage. At 16 years old, he got to perform at one of Washington DC's top nightclubs, the 9:30 Club along side my sons Ryan, Landon and our friend Josh. James had style and class and love for his Savior, Jesus.
Through his new life
now in Heaven, James has brought people to the Lord. By his love, encouragement and strength of character, James will never be forgotten. He left a legacy that is hard to live up to. If only we can all be like James and show love and compassion for everyone! James was true to that life.
Heaven just gained a wonderful spirit when James entered and now he's with Jesus. I'm sure he is happy and peaceful.
James Arkenau will remain in our hearts forever.....