Friday, June 13, 2014

Lessons From the Edge

Your life matters.

I had the opportunity yesterday to hear quite a lot about a man I knew a little bit.
J moved into Edgewood maybe a year ago with his wife, E. And sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas he moved into a memory care facility. So, I didn't have a lot of time with him. But during the time J was at Edgewood, I experienced a delightful - albeit confused - man. He had fairly advanced Alzheimer's, so real conversations with him pretty much didn't exist. Mostly, I just knew a pleasant disposition and frequent smiles.
Eventually, caring for J became too much for E to handle. She visited him regularly at his new home, and often came back with sad reports that he didn't remember her anymore. J's disease was overtaking him and before long, E told me he'd gone into a coma.
It was just a matter of time until he'd be going Home.
And so it was, about a month ago, E told me her husband of almost 68 years had been promoted. To heaven.

Yesterday I sat in the back of a small chapel at J's memorial service, listening to a lot of people I've never met - or only met a couple times - talking about a man I sure wish I'd known more. His children and grandchildren spoke of a man who loved his Lord, and cherished his family. I heard stories of J doing magic tricks with his son, teaching his grandchildren to draw, and even making a "coloring book" for his great-grandchildren. People talked about the many ways J served in churches, and the lives he impacted in each place. It was particularly touching to hear one of his grandsons talk about his desire to live out J's legacy of sharing the good news of Jesus.

As I took it all in, I became very inspired by this man who I only knew a little bit. He was a simple man - spent most of his career as a janitor in the local schools. By the world's standards, he didn't leave much of a mark. Clean schools years ago, but what difference does that make today?
Yet he was faithful - to his God and to his family. And he touched lives. That fact became very clear with each person who spoke. And with each testimony I heard about J's life, I became more and more convinced of the importance of building our legacies. Regardless of what the world says about our successes, our accomplishments, or our contributions, we can make a difference by being faithful.

Your life matters.

Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this post are my own, and may not necessarily reflect those of Vista Springs Living Centers.

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