This morning I received news that a neighbor had passed away after his battle with cancer. He had been in a lot of pain recently so it was a blessing that he was taken home. My emotions were pretty close to the surface as I recalled the many memories I had of this exceptional man. He was a bear of a man, large and imposing, but so humble and kind you knew he would be just the right person to trust and rely on. He had always had something positive to say, and encouraged everyone to be their best.
Recently I went on a camping trip with some friends and as I walked to my friend's house I saw him and his wife sitting on their front porch. He was looking weaker and was in a wheelchair, but his eyes were the same: warm, and safe. He asked me how I was, and if I was staying out of trouble. His voice was strained with the effort of speaking loud enough for me to hear, but I could hear his signature kindness and concern in his tone. We exchanged a few words then I wished him well and he me, encouraging me, as he always did, to be my best. Those were the last words I exchanged with him.
Each day we rely on the same being for our daily bread. He makes the Earth turn, plants grow, sun shine, and rivers flow, and He does it all for us. He gives us our breath, and has placed us here to earn our bread by the sweat of our brow. My neighbor was a good example of working hard and trusting in the Lord. Then, yesterday, he finished his labors and left this world to enter the next.
I love that man. It was always easy to do, because he loved everyone and you knew it too.