- Updated: 01 March 2021
… and I dedicate this piece to an old friend who “stepped into his eternal home” last Tuesday, February 23rd. I met “Jack” over 10 years ago while he lived in Fallbrook where he cared for his ailing wife and, for many months, accepted weekly visits from then Fallbrook Hospice’s chaplain (me). I got to know Jack and his lovely family over those months and, assisted in the burial of his beloved wife 6 years ago. He will be buried next to her next week.
There are people who leave indelible marks on your life… people you think of often and at certain times. Jack is one of those people in my life. In our weekly meetings during his wife’s home hospice care I would arrive and ask my usual question, “How are you doing, Jack?” to which he would usually respond, “just older and colder.” I think of that everyday, most often twice a day, when we check in with our supervisor with temperature and Covid-symptom checks. When I report my temperature, which is always below normal… I think, “I’m older and colder.”
Another memorable marker for me is when I’d dig a little deeper with Jack and ask, “so what’s new with you?” I can’t remember a time when he didn’t respond with, “There is nothing new under the sun,” a quote from Ecclesiastes 1:9 where the Preacher laments, “what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
It’s funny how these two common questions that come up so often throughout each day, “how are you?” and “what’s new with you?” always lead me to think of Jack and his wry sense of humor, a quality I hope to emulate for the rest of my days! Jack served our nation on a Navy ship during WWII. I know he took on some shrapnel at one point, but he always downplayed any “heroism” that could have been hinted at. Rather, he loved to talk about the Lord… and he loved to dote on his wife… and he loved to speak well of his family. While we only had periodic visits over these past few years, I will honor his memory as a true brother in the Lord, one who has influenced me in a most practical and relationally pleasant way. I cannot think of any higher honor than that! A true influencer…
For His glory,