“If there is one thing I have learned on this incredible journey we call life, it is this: the sign of a truly successful individual is humility.”
By now you know that my friend Edyce’s husband, and my friend, John, succumbed to the awful disease of pancreatic cancer. Yesterday he was laid to rest and if there was one word used to describe this friend, it was “humility”. Now he was a very successful architect and builder, not to mention golfer, baker and anything else he put his mind to. It’s interesting not knowing someone in their career. I knew him as my friend’s husband and the father and grandfather of their kids. That’s how I knew him. He loved to ski. Here we are a LONG time ago.
He LOVED Halloween and was a fun person to go to a party with because he didn’t hold back! There were no lame costumes-he started planning right after Halloween one year for the next. He was just John. I think it was a good thing that we live a few hours away. He was John to me. My friend. And so humble. I never would have known all of his accomplishments unless I’d attended the funeral and read his obituary. He sure as heck wouldn’t have shared it. He definitely did not blow his own horn. He didn’t strut. He loved his family and he loved my friend. Who could have a better friend than that? So, when he started to talk to me in the days after he died through Godwinks, I had to share. First, through the pennies he left for me to give to Edyce, who has always wanted a Godwink of her own. Then through the loving relationship he had with Edyce’s mom, whose name was Eunice and they both left a sign that all was well, after his death, but before we knew of it, that we found on a rock last weekend in Va. I thought it such an odd coincidence that I took a photo. How many Eunices do you know? They planned the service in advance with lovely music and the overall theme of love. He even helped me out during the service. I love to read along with the readings, but in a Catholic service, you listen. So I pulled out my pocket New Testament that someone was passing out one year at Thunder in the Valley and was fumbling through the pages, looking to catch up.
I was unsuccessful finding the first two-because the first reading is usually Old Testament and I wouldn’t have had that but the 2nd reading and Gospel are NT. I kept looking, though. Goodness, I should know the reading about love. It’s 1Corinthians 13, but couldn’t find it. Then I started searching for the Gospel reading. And John must have decided that enough was enough, and there, my bookmark was. Right on the page with the correct passage from the Book of John, about Jesus comforting his disciples. There were more, but it didn’t seem appropriate to take photos during a burial at the cemetery, but I shared these few at the luncheon. Jay leaned over to me and said, Do you think they classify you now as a Holy Roller? Probably, I answered, but there are much worse things to be thought, I suppose. I think God gives you what you need, not necessary what you want. Then Susan, Edyce’s oldest sister came and told me that she thinks they had a Godwink the other day. She, Edyce and the girls had a leak and had to figure out how to fix it. She was sure that John was testing them. Oh yes, he will be missed and wanted to make sure they knew it. Story after story friends and family shared about his kindness and patience and willingness to help. And his humility about his success. It’s a lesson I need to practice. Not that I’m successful by any means, but when you’re the youngest in a lively family, you get into the habit of speaking up. I need to stop that.
After saying goodbye to one friend, I got news that another friend, Peter Giargente, AKA Peter Greyson, lost his battle with bipolar disorder, addiction and depression. I met his lovely wife Gina through MacKid at my first meetup in Ft. Lauderdale, through of all things, hula hooping. More on that tomorrow.
We had a wonderful visit from our dear friend Rick last night and I can hear him stirring. He has a meeting in town this morning and asked to stay with us. Of course!
Today I need to get to work. I’m doing the ArtWalk in Stackhouse on Sunday and still have lots to do.
Hooping later! Hope to see you there.
In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get outside for some fresh air and keep the length of an alpaca cria (which is a baby alpaca and about 3 feet long) between you and the next person.