What I mean…

4:33 AM….  Woke up to a text telling me that one of the best men I’ve ever known has passed away. I’ve heard stories about his younger years, and I know he wasn’t perfect.  He was good to me.  He was kind to me.  He was always so happy when I came to visit. 

A few months back he and I were sitting in his hospital room and we had a conversation that went a little something like this:

I walked through the door and he was so excited to see me.  The first words out of his mouth were, “you just get prettier every time I see you!”

I laughed it off and said, “umm are you lookin for a wife?”

He smiled and informed me that he was too old for most of the duties that you do with a wife, but he could eat a good meal and talk my head off if I wanted to move in.  

I remember thinking “I LOVE this man”. 

I sat and talked as long as I could without getting stuck in rush hour traffic on the drive home. Oh how I wish I would’ve not cared about the traffic that day and just sat a while longer, since I had him all to myself. 

At one point the conversation turned to the events that have taken place in my life in the past year.  He seemed to take it with a grain of salt as he informed me that things happen.  Sometimes good people do things you never thought they would do, but life goes on.  I found myself thinking I should’ve talked to this man a year ago. 

We talked about how scared I am that I will fail, and he assured me that I would be just fine.  We talked about his family.   I laugh when I think about him saying,  “That Amanda…  She’s gonna mess around and get rich one day!”  Then he informed me that he thought I would too!  Only time will tell I guess…   Little did he know, I would trade all the dollars in the world for his wisdom of life.  Or, maybe he did know that, and perhaps that’s why we got along so well. Do you think he sensed the immense respect I had for his mind?  There’s not too many people I can say that about these days. 

He went on to talk about his family.  Marcia was strong as a horse.  She isn’t afraid of hard work, and such a good mom. We talked about Elaine and Ralph and what good people they had turned out to be.   Even he knew that Elaine makes the best fried chicken!  He was proud that not a single one of his kids were afraid of hard work. He went through the list and talked about each one of his children that day.  It was very clear that he loved each of them so much. 

It’s with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart that I’m writing this, but I had to!  There’s so much about this ole guy that made my heart happy!  I had honestly planned on naming my first child after him someday. 

Through the the years I learned never EVER to bring up politics in front of him, unless you had a lot of time to spare. In fact I can almost hear him say, “This country, it’s gone to hell in a hand basket… what I mean, no one knows how to do anything for themselves anymore.”  He told it like it is, that’s for sure.   What I mean… He used to throw that in every other sentence.  There were times that after a visit I’d find myself saying it for days.  Even though he’s gone I can’t help but smile as tears are falling just thinking about him, and the man I knew. 

He and I, we talked about Jesus that day, and I believe one day I’ll see his face again.  I’m excited for that day!  Death is something that eventually comes to us all. He was lucky enough to live a long fulfilling life. If you were to sit and listen to him talk, you would have heard that he had really been through some hard stuff. In the middle of it all, there was always good. There was always something to laugh about. He kept trucking on, no matter what life threw his way. 

There are instances in life where I think we get so caught up in what’s happening this second, that we forget there’s a big picture.  Whatever it is you’re facing will pass.  I heard someone say once that time is kind of like a bandaid.  With time the wounds heal, but never fully because you’ll always remember the loss.  Someday you’ll look back and see where you’ve come from, but the sting of the hurt you’ve been through will have dulled away.  You will inevitably smile again, love again, and laugh again… After all Life’s too short not to. 

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