“You don’t know what you don’t know.”
One of the wisest lessons I’d ever learned.
Bill was 86 years old when I first met him last March. The week of his 87th birthday he was placed in an acute assisted living facility. He had terminal brain cancer and it had spread down to his neck. For 3 months we went to visit him on Mondays like clockwork. During the last 6 weeks of his life he was in and out of what we knew as his reality, but he seemed almost peaceful when he spoke often times those nonsensical words.
He sat in his wheelchair, weak of energy, yet that sheepish grin of his emerged out of nowhere. His eyes still had life in them, but he would seemingly look right through me as he spoke. It was obvious to me that he was living in this realm, but crossing over simultaneously. Most days he was talking to his mama who had left this earth sometime ago. The conversations were real to him and heartwarming to witness.
Bill had lived the last nearly 40 years as a sober man. He was committed to making amends even in his final days. His devotion to The Lord was obvious when he shared stories with me now and then. He was a straight shooter and as honest as a man could be. Up until he took his last breath, he still had plenty to say.
When his pastor came to see him one last time, Bill asked once more if he believed that God was going to let him into his kingdom. With complete assurance the pastor told him without a doubt and with all certainty He was. He has been missed since that final day. I’m grateful he’s no longer hurting and has found peace and contentment in his own heart, but selfishly we all wish he had more time.
I will never forget the unspoken words that he conveyed to me with just his gentle smile and a shake of his head every time he asked me something about my life. He was a lovable, kindhearted man with such conviction that he stood proudly on. I thank God for the moments I was blessed to have those conversations with you sir.
Rest easy my friend. My promise holds that I will help your lovely bride for as long as she needs me.
God bless your soul…
2 thoughts on “One of the few great men”
He was a comfort to you even though the time you shared was short. It would be easy to conclude that is why God sent him your way, to meet that need. I would posit that it’s possible that though he became your comfort, perhaps God sent you to him to be his comfort; a precise comfort to be found in no one else for a time such as this.
We often feel we do nothing special when we are doing our job as we always do. It is what is expected of us: to perform our duty, to obediently fulfill our calling. There you were. Compassionately performing what was expected. Fulfilling your calling in obedience to the God that sent you. Assuming all the time that God had only sent Bill to you, when it was you, too, who was sent.
Beautifully stated as always. There was definitely a divine intervention set forth between Mr Bill and myself. He had so very many messages to deliver to me, and he did. I am truly blessed and better having known him. Thanks for your lovely rendition. Perfectly said my friend.