Just over a week ago the best man I ever knew passed away. After a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s, my dad went silently and peacefully into the arms of his Savior. It must be noted that although his death was without effort or struggle, his life was the epitome of a life that shouted generosity and kindness.
As my father moved graciously through life, the people he met were given the benefit of the doubt as he offered a willingness to look beyond the past and had an innate ability to know when a person simply needed a kind word. Time after time, I witnessed his capacity to treat all people with a respect that looked beyond the color of their skin or their socio-economic status.
For some, generosity and kindness seem to be a chore to muster up. With each situation, they must choose whether this is a moment worthy of their effort to treat another human being in a humane way. For my dad, those two traits were like taking his next breath. They came effortlessly and without any thought of what it might take to make them happen.
It goes without saying that my life was shaped and made better by this incredible man. Yet, I find myself at this moment wondering what to do with the loss I have experienced. Please know, my selfishness is not so great that I do not realize the blessing I was given for the past 57 years. No son could have asked or expected more and no son could have been given a greater model to follow. I simply realize that my life was intimately intertwined with the best and my future holds no substitute for his presence. Today, my blessing is that he is in a better place and my life has the potential and privilege to expand his legacy. It is just not easy when you lose the best.