I bid farewell to a dear friend on Tuesday. Larry passed away last Saturday at age 88. No one expected him to live that long. He’d had heart trouble since the late 1970s. Since he didn’t know just how long his ticker would keep ticking, he treated every day as a gift from God.
Larry was a man of deep faith. God was real to him, and he made a point of visiting with him regularly. He was a giver. He knew that everything he had was a gift from God, so he was generous with his time, his love, his sense of humor, and even his tears. He couldn’t wrap his head around meanness or selfishness because they just weren’t a part of his nature and he couldn’t see why anyone would choose to act that way. He’d give anyone the benefit of the doubt and was truly disappointed when a person didn’t live up to his faith in them. He was funny, and warm, and sincere, and REAL!
Larry was a family man. He was a devoted husband to Doris for 61 years and the father of six. I hadn’t met Larry until 1990. By then, he and Doris both had, well, let’s say, hair of a lighter color than they may have had earlier in their lives. So the many dark-haired grandchildren and great-grandchildren I saw at the funeral surprised me. But then, some of Doris and Larry’s children are sporting that “lighter hair” look as well. (I’ll admit, I am too.)
A Heavenly Fan
Larry was one of my fans. He believed in me when I was young and inexperienced at my work. That helped me believe in myself too. When a man like Larry puts his faith in you, well, that’s about as good as winning the lottery. As you can see, I’m a member of his fan club as well.
You can touch a lot of lives when you live to 88, and you end up outliving many of them. Larry’s funeral was well attended in spite of the bitter cold of the day. Many tears were shed at our loss, but we all know that Larry’s gone to his final home. That brings us great joy. I told someone on Tuesday that somehow heaven feels closer because I know Larry’s there. And now I have a fan up there pulling for me.
Saint Larry, pray for us!