So I missed posting yesterday. We had too much that happened Monday and I moved slow on Tuesday and missed my window.
On Monday afternoon we made the decision to make a two and half hour drive up to the edge of Lake Michigan to attend the visitation for a friend and former colleague of Russ’s from our early days with ADM.
Dave and Peg were dear friends and we have a collection of stories that make us double over with laughter from the short years we shared with them before they packed their young family up and moved back closer to their hometown.
Lives get busy and we visited them once after they moved but as happens, we eventually lost the connection and just would hear glimpses of their adventures and I suppose they heard of ours through that wierd way that we know about people but don’t communicate ourselves anymore.
Just drifted apart and didn’t make the effort to stay in touch.
Until we heard that Dave had developed lung cancer six months ago and the cancer took his life way before we feel like it was time. We didn’t know about the cancer, but we heard about the result.
We got to the visitation near the start of it.
Many were already seated to show love and support, but the line was short and it was no time until we standing before Peg and the two grown sons we had known from the early stages of life.
Since we hadn’t seen them in years and we were wearing masks, Russ told the oldest boy who he was.
Our names must have been held in good standing with this family, despite our lack of communication over the years, because he burst into tears and hugged Russ like we just saw them yesterday.
We all hugged and cried and then hugged and cried some more. There were others in line and we had done what we came to do – show our respect for the great guy we had the pleasure of calling a friend in this journey and let this family know that the years had not diminished our love for them.
We were blessed to know the same in return as they thanked us for coming and we left.
The whole thing probably took 15 minutes, but was worth every mile of the drive and then we got a sucker punch as we barely started the long ride home.
I was driving my turn and Russ was looking at his phone when he gasped in a way that was uncharacteristically emotional for my husband.
An email was letting us know another dear friend had died. This one even younger than Dave.
This one was someone we see regularly. This one was one who had stayed in our home on furloughs from Kenya. This one has daughters who are our kids’ friends from youth group years.
This one has a wife who is a friend and who has taught me much about spiritual warfare and prayer.
This one sat in our Sunday School class and stood in our door way many a time, leaning against the door frame and talking endlessly. This one has sat at our table and eaten meals with us and with friends.
This one drove me and other friends all over Maasai land in a truck that was held together with rust, mud and prayer and introduced us to the Church in the bush country.
This one brewed coffee in the bunkhouse in Ngatatake, Kajiado, Kenya for those who need a cup quickly upon waking and delivered it to the door of the women’s quarters and yes, that would be me.
This one was one who lived large and loud and passionately and in his passing he has left us with a large, too-quiet, too-sad emptiness.
Both of these men held a special place in Russ and my hearts.
Both of these men left us too soon in our understanding, but both of these men were held in the love of Jesus and are with Him and we trust in His goodness and His timing in what we cannot understand.
Hug your people.
Stay in touch.
As much as possible, say good bye like it may the last time, every time.
Blessings my friends <3