I used to manage a shoe store right off the interstate back in the early 80's. It was an outlet store among a few other outlet stores but because we were right off the interstate there were times we got some "seedy" customers. I had such a customer one day and it was this man that I'm blogging about, a county deputy sheriff, that rescued me that day.
Some years later it was he who helped me with a troubled teenager, bringing him home when he probably should have gotten in big trouble.
When that same son made some mistakes that caused him to spend some time in a "boot camp" it was this man that stood by me and my family and told us that this would possibly save his life.
He could be gentle and quite as a mouse but could be tough as nails when he needed to be.
He and his wife were good friends to my parents and would take trips with them in their travel trailers. They had in fact been planning to go to to Colorado with them on this trip. He worked side by side with my mother every year when she did the KOA fundraiser, not only acting as the security, but taking out time to ride the kids that attended in the patrol car, sirens and blue lights and the whole shabang.
In November when I mailed invitations out for my mother's birthday party, it was his invitation that somehow missed a stamp and he had to go pick it up and pay postage to get it. Boy did he give me a hard time about that at the party, kept telling me that I owed him money! He aggravated me that entire day about it.
And at that same party he made it a point to spend some time talking to that son of mine who he had once carried off in a patrol car 15 years earlier. He made it a point to tell me how well he looked and how proud he was of him.
In February when my Step Father had a heart Cath, we were very late driving home that night and it was he that called my mother and told her to be sure and call him if we had any trouble or needed him in anyway. He was very concerned about my Step Father. It was in that same phone conversation that he mentioned going to the Dr. that day because he had been having some pain in his shoulder.
That was three months ago. It turned out to be lung cancer and last night this kind man, a long time family friend passed away.
In our community his life touched so many people. Not just in his line of work but in his personal life too. He was often the victim of practical jokes but he was just as often the joker himself. He was loved by so many. It's times like this when you can't really understand why life seems so cruel. He had much pain in the end, pain you wouldn't want anyone to have to suffer. My heart just breaks for his wife and family and what they've all been through and what they have to face in a future without him.
And so I'm a little out of sync today for our loss. I hope wherever he is, he will know how much he was loved. I hope we let him know while he was here with us.
Life is so short, so unpredictable and this is just another reminder that I personally need to make the most of everyday and to live my life how and where I want to . And a reminder to appreciate the people in my life everyday, because you just never know.