12/08/2011

He Has Fun!



Some people truly make the world a better place, just by their very presence.
I can think of no better way than to start and pay tribute to a wonderful man I met several years ago. I walked into a Rotary meeting as a newcomer, feeling slightly out of place. I was greeted, at the close of the meeting, by a man with a smile larger than life and hand shake that felt like he came straight from Bedrock. I thought he must have worked in the quarry with Fred Flintstone with that darn rock hard handshake. And this big man that was slightly intimidating just emulated happiness and joy.

Over a period of time, I began to learn more about him personally. He seemed to take a interest in me which I found flattering. It was as if he took me, somewhat, under his wing. I secretly wished I had met years ago and that he had been a bigger part of my life. He was a good man through and through and I could have learned a lot of life’s lessons from him easier than through the hard knocks way. His life was full of some of the usual, and unusual, twists and turns but through it all, he maintained his love of life and his positive attitude. He could be mischievous and certainly his mantra was fun with life on earth; don’t take yourself, or anyone else, too seriously.

This fellow sees having fun also as serving others, putting smiles on other peoples’ faces, those in need especially. Every year, without fail, he arranges for the Rotarians to cover the weekends being the bell ringers during the holiday season. I think this is one of his greatest joys, taking his turn at it! It is as if he sees this as being Santa, collecting for the needy at a time when others see it as asking for hand outs. He is unique in that way, never letting others define who he is and letting others misjudge what is the right thing to do. This year, even in a weakened state, he will take his turn, ringing the bell, but from a wheel chair. If you see him, give. Not for him, but for those he represents, those hurting, those in need. That is what will give him joy. As long as he has breath in him, he will care for others. How many men are like this, will spend a few hours of their last days on earth collecting donations for others? Will you?

He is a proud American. His face lights up when he sees the American flag, noticeably. He knows what it stands for and if you forget, ask him! He will proudly remind you. Oh, that flag stands for freedom, for the land of opportunity, for men and women fighting for all of us and we should all be proud, unified and serve each other with joy. As he states with conviction, “We are blessed. “ Is there anything sweeter than the taste of freedom? If not, pray for our service men and women please, we owe them at least that!

As the seasons have come and gone, so has his cancer battle. There have been many successes and some major setbacks along the way. It is almost hard to gauge, by the look on his face, which end he is on because his face reveals so much life and love. He has never met a stranger, even when life has been the cruelest to him. And yet, he continues life, one step, one day at a time, all the while knowing and fully believing God will take him to heaven when his time is due. While here, he assures everyone he is blessed, we are blessed and let’s have fun!

I believe our destiny in life is to try to make the world a better place when we leave it than when we were born into it. We should aspire to touch others lives in a good way, even if it is simply by how we live our life. This friend to so many, he has created quite the legacy. He has healed many a discouraged heart or lost souls with his words of wisdom and his liveliness. If that hasn’t work, his quirkiness and unmistakable sense of humor have definitely done the trick!

When I spoke with him today, it was with joy in my voice and a song in my heart. At no point was there sadness in my words. I spoke with total clarity as I knew he is much nearer death than ever before. Time is short for him; I wanted him to hear directly that he has touched me. I was not surprised in the least to learn from him that many folks have said those same words to him. He told me that each time he hears it, it means even more. So many people do not realize to those approaching death, knowing you have left an indelible mark on this earth is spiritually healing. It adds to the serenity they feel towards facing their entrance into heaven. Take the time to let people know they have touched you. They do want to hear this. There is no right time to say this, so just find a moment period. This man, he earned the right to hear this, time and time again. He can enter heaven with pride and joy.

As he prepares his final preparations and waits for the final call, not knowing when it will be, he will enjoy every last moment he is blessed with. Are you enjoying your blessings like this special man? What if this is your last Christmas, are you trying to make this world a better place? At Christmas, what a perfect time to start.

In closing our conversation today, he and I discussed our faith in heaven. We both believe we will see each other again, there, therefore good-byes are really not needed. He asked me to look him up when I get there, to heaven, as soon as I arrive. I asked him, silly as it sounds, to please hold up the flag and wave it, which he said he will. I do think it might look rather preposterous in heaven for him to be waving an American flag. I am not sure how saintly that will look? But then again, he has always had a knack for doing the quirky things to make folks laugh so why not? Those that know him will not find the sight of him doing this with his angel wings on odd at all! He told me to not get there too quickly. I had to remind him I am on God’s plan also, just as he is. None of us pick our check out time. Make good use of your time while you are here…….

I thank God for the lesson of having fun he has taught so many of us that grew to know him! And most of all, I pray God continues to bless him with a smile larger than life and happiness that makes his cup overflow from here to his life everlasting!
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