A Tragic Day for a Friend — And How You Can Help - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
A Tragic Day for a Friend — And How You Can Help

Today, I am heartbroken.

My sweet friend, Mary Katherine Ham, lost her husband, Jake Brewer, in a tragic accident on Saturday, as he was attempting to finish a 150 mile charity bike ride. Jake, who had just taken a job as a technology adviser in the White House a few months ago, was crossing through a series of sharp turns when he lost control of his bike, crossed the center line and was hit by an oncoming vehicle. He leaves behind his wife, a daughter Georgia, a baby on the way, and a host of friends and family who loved him, and a world that was changed for the better because of him.

Yesterday, Mary Katherine wrote:

We lost our Jake yesterday, and I lost part of my heart and the father of my sweet babies. I don’t have to tell most of you how wonderful he was. It was self-evident. His life was his testimony, and it was powerful and tender and fierce, with an ever-present twinkle in the eye. I will miss him forever, even more than I can know right now. No arms can be her father’s, but my daughter is surrounded by her very favorite people and all the hugs she could imagine. This will change us, but with prayer and love and the strength that is their companion, we can hope our heartache is not in vain– that it will change us and the world in beautiful ways, just as he did. If that sounds too optimistic at this time, it’s because it is. But there was no thought too optimistic for Jake, so take it and run with it. I will strive and pray not to feel I was cheated of many years with him, but cherish the gift of the years I had. In a life where nothing is guaranteed, Jake made the absolute, ever-lovin’ most of his time with all of us. This is a family picture we took a couple weeks ago. It was taken because Jake, as always, was ready with a camera and his immense talent. All four members of our little, growing family are in it. I can never be without him because these babies are half him. They are made of some of the strongest, kindest stuff God had to offer this world. Please pray that he can see us and we’ll all make him proud. God, I love him. Psalm 34:18, Philippians 1:3

I didn’t know Jake particularly well, though he was married to my friend for four years. I’d see him occasionally, joke with him on social media, and admire his incredible accomplishments and his more-beautiful-than-average child. I know he was an incredible photographer because of the photos he posted, mostly of his sweet daughter, and of him and Mary Katherine, having incredible adventures across the globe. I have never seen two people so happy to be together. And even if I never talked to him more than few minutes at a time, the incredible bond between him and Mary Katherine spoke volumes. I never saw them together, even in photographs, where they weren’t laughing and completely in love.

What I didn’t know about Jake, I’ve learned in the last two days, as people, including President Obama, whom he served, have poured out their hearts across the Internet. It turns out that while so many of us talk of changing the world for the better, Jake actually did it — professionally, as part of the Sunlight Foundation, Change.org and at the White House, and personally, as a dedicated husband and father, and a man who gave everything to serve others. There are few people who can know that the world is better because they walked on it, even for a little while. Jake was one of those people, and the world will miss him greatly. In the hours that have transpired since the accident, I have seen Jake still bringing people together, to mourn an indescribable loss that they have all felt to varying degrees. It is both tragic and incredible, and while it barely comes close to demonstrating what Jake meant to those who loved him, it is just the beginning of a proud legacy.

I hope you will join me in praying for Mary Katherine and her family as they face this challenge, for their extended family, for Jake’s parents, for Mary Katherine’s parents, for her sweet daughter Georgia, for all of Jake’s close friends and for those who will love and serve them through this time of great need. Mary Katherine is one of the most incredible, intelligent, kind, generous and talented people I have ever had the good fortune to meet, and while I know how strong and poised she is, I know she will need a community of support and care as she faces the future.

If you would like to give to support Mary Katherine and her children, and to carry on the legacy of service that Jake began during his life, please consider donating to the Jake Brewer Memorial Trust.

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