There are two things that I've never forgotten about the late Jay Ingram -- he was always smiling and, if he wasn't on the soccer field playing, he had a soccer ball in his hand.
The Heritage High School alumni community was saddened by the news that Jay had passed away last Friday due to injuries he suffered after being hit by a car last Thursday morning while taking his morning jog.
He leaves behind his precious wife, Corinne, and two small children. He also leaves behind other family members, friends and all of his students and fellow teachers at Kennesaw Charter Science and Math Academy.
Although he has physically left us, much about Jay still remains.
Corinne posted on Facebook on Friday evening this statement: "Last night when they started the process of donating his organs, they ran tests on his heart and the nurse said to me, 'I have never seen a more perfect heart!' His numbers are perfect. Well ain't that the truth. Now we just found out that they found someone here in Georgia who needs it!"
It was followed by this posting Saturday morning: "Jay is able to donate all of his organs today. His heart is going to a 50-year-old, his lungs to a 27-year-old, a kidney and liver to a patient with liver failure, a kidney and pancreas to a patient with diabetes/kidney failure. I pray that everything goes well for these recipients and amazed that even in death Jay is saving lives. God you are amazing."
Corinne is my new hero. The strength -- that could only come from God alone -- that she has been able to muster up through this tragedy is a true testament to her faith in our sweet Savior. She has lost her husband, best friend, father of her children and yet her faith hasn't wavered. She has encouraged all of us despite her broken heart.
Jay affected a lot of lives. I believe he had an impact on anyone he ever knew, but the simple fact that he is still changing lives of people he has never met is another one of God's awesome miracles He performs even through the death of a loved one.
I have often said, and even prayed, that my husband Kevin and I leave this earth and go on to be with Jesus at the same time. I've lived enough of my life without Kevin to know I don't want to ever have to live without him again.
But Corinne's faith reminds me that no matter God's plan for our lives, it is His strength that gets us through things in life that we think we'd never make it through. Even through death, we still find life.
Even through the death of Jesus, we all find life -- an eternal life -- if we choose to believe in Him.
And through our tears, we know that one day we will see Jay again, smiling, and I just bet there might be a game of soccer going on up in heaven too.
Julie Wells is the editorial assistant in the newsroom at the Rockdale Citizen. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.