Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Friend, a Colleague, and a Mentor

When you were headed off for a day of treatment, you used to joke, "I'm getting in late tomorrow, but I'll be making up for it by leaving early."

Indeed, you left us too early. Far too early.

No man was ever a more resolute ally, no man a more caring soul, no man a more valuable mentor.

I speak not just personally, but for the voices of thousands who doubtless feel as I do, those whose lives you touched in ways great and small.

No man was ever more loyal, no man more honest, no man more committed to helping others.

In early October I saw you for the last time. You were in a hospital bed, immobilized by a diabolical illness and fighting pain that no one should ever have to endure.

You were smiling. You were joking. You were, of course, asking how others were doing, if others were okay.

Strength like this is something you might see in a superhero film, not in real life. But I saw it. We all saw it.

Because of all the traits that humanity possesses, of all those traits, I know no man who had more of the positive -- like that indomitable strength and courage and wisdom -- and so few of the others.

And so I can only offer this brief psalm to strengthen my own resolve and in the meager hopes it will strengthen others whose lives you were bound to as only He can.

All mankind will pass before You like a flock of sheep. Like a shepherd pasturing his flock, making sheep pass under his staff, so shall You cause to pass, count, calculate, and consider the soul of all the living; and You shall apportion the destinies of all Your creatures and inscribe their verdict...

For Your Name signifies Your praise: hard to anger and easy to appease... Until the day of his death You await him; if he repents You will accept him immediately. It is true that You are their Creator and You know their inclination, for they are flesh and blood.

Our origin is dust and our end is dust.
At the hazard of our life we earn our bread.
We are like a fragile vessel,
like the grass that withers
the flower that fades,
the shadow that passes,
the cloud that vanishes,
the wind that blows,
the dust that floats,
the dreams that fly away
The dreams that fly away.
Your kingship is an eternal kingship.
Your dominion is for all generations.

All of this we will remember.


Unknown said...

Thanks, Doug. This was well said.

Mt Top Patriot said...

Hope your friend is in heaven smiling down on you.