Sunday, January 07, 2007


Here's a picture of my brother, sitting with his dog, Cliff. Many times he would meet his wife there for lunch. He loved Glacier Na'tl Park and couldn't wait to show it to me. Because of the terrrible fires, I had to cancel a trip to Glacier that summer. After his death, and a writer's conference that I attended in Denver, I traveled on to MT to see where he lived, his writing cabin and his wife, Slyvia. It was so beautiful that I could hardly stand it, and his presence seemed so strong. He was Deputy Superintendent of the park with a huge responsibility, especially during one of the worst fires in Glacier history. I met the Superintendent, his boss and close friend, Mick. It was very evident that they were close working partners that dealt with a lot of stress during that fires. They were responsible, for the park, surrounding homes, and many lives. The experience changed them both forever. While it was still beautiful, the evidence of the fire on the park was everywhere. We were escorted by two park biologist to a remote area near the Canadian border to collect Ponderosa Pine seeds that they were planted. When mature enough, they will be transplanted to the grove near the river in his memory.

I wish everyone could have known Jess. He had great wit that shown through in his 7 books, and in everyday conversation. He impacted my life as a steady father figure, never shirking responsibility to his family. He constantly read my writing, and showed me how to improve it, and encouraged me to never give up. I feel so lucky to have had a brother like him! I hope that I continue to write, but to also be the kind of encourager to my writer friends, especially to the ones that meet here in my home.
This year will mark the 5th year of my critique group. I plan to post a picture of his last book on a future blog.

His death was caused by the Hantavirus. A deadly disease contracted from the deer mice and, incidentally, is more prominent in MT and New Mexico. A very tragic and sudden death. I'll save that for another time perhaps. You can look up his titles on under the pen name of Jess McCreede.

Whether you or a writer or not, make everyday count for something. Pursue your life with enthusiasim and each day as a gift from God. Our life is as a vapor and will soon disapear...James 4:14


Diann Hunt said...

Beautiful post, Brenda, and such a wonderful tribute to your brother! I agree wholeheartedly with your comment that life is a vapor. We need to live every day with passion and purpose!

Thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. You, and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Maggie Brendan said...

Hi, Diann. Did you see your photo on an earlier post with me & Colleen. I think it's a great picture.
My post on Jan. 1st is about a fellowship established by Glacier Park. Don't know if you read it.

Anonymous said...


I can certainly see how much you loved him and how you still mourn his loss. What a testament of God's power that He elevated you both from poverty to a place where you have such an impact in others' lives with your writing and storytelling and encouragement. I am blessed to be in your writer's group and to call you friend!

Love to you and see you soon!


AngBreidenbach said...

The picture of your brother is wonderful. I'm so glad I came over to read your blog today. Living in MT, we do hear about the hantavirus. It's so scary. I'm sorry for your loss. I believe that the talents we are given do not go away when we enter heaven. Rather, we perfect them during our moment as a vapor so that we can use them to continually express our love for the glory of God as worship when we spend eternity with Him. I can see your brother glorifying the Lord with his talents now.
Blessings to you,

Maggie Brendan said...

Angela, your words comfort and encourage me. I feel like you, that when we draw our last breath as Christians, we are present with the Lord, and carry with us all of the same conciousness and knowledge we have here on earth. Every gift and talent is from God. So incredible that he loved us before we loved him. Blessings,

Anonymous said...

Aunt Brenda, what a beautiful post about dad. It makes me happy to read it.

Your site is great! I will check back to see updates. Much love.

Maggie Brendan said...

Hi, sweet girl! Thanks for checking out the post. You know he would be so proud of you! Love ya!! Say hi to Andy and I'm glad he enjoyed the book.
Aunt Brenda