When I was growing up, one of my friends in my little group was Lindsay W. I put the last initial here because I know a LOT of Lindsays, Lindseys, Lyndsays, etc. :) But to protect her family's privacy, I'm just sticking with the initial.
Lindsay's father passed away about a week and a half ago - his name was Jim. He was still very young. He died of cancer, after a three-year battle with it.
I didn't know Jim well - I mean, how well do any of us know our friends' dads? It's not like they hung out with us and shot the breeze. He would usually pass through where we were, make a joke, and keep on going. I remember he had a really deep, really nice voice. I often thought that he should be a radio deejay.
It was really great to go to the funeral and to learn more about him. I obviously don't enjoy funerals, but there is a certain celebration-of-the-person's-life quality about them that is really great. You bet it's really sad that they're gone. But they were great people, with great stories from their life. And it's more of a see-you-later feeling. We know that they are in a better place; and we know that we'll see them again. It's sad that we have to endure this seperation, but in the grand scheme of eternity, it will seem like a blink of an eye.
I just want to jot down the things that struck me as I listened to stories from Jim's life:
He was really gregarious, always joking and laughing. He was a really good big brother. He was, above all, a family man. His son, Brandon, said, "He didn't have everything, but he had what he wanted." Meaning that he wasn't wealthy, but what mattered to him was his family. Linds's family really was very, very close. I remember when we were teenagers, she would often opt out of something that we friends were doing, because she wanted to hang out with her family. I remember thinking, "That's weird; why would you want to hang out with your family when you can hang out with your friends??" You know how teenagers are - all about friends. But she loved spending time with her family so much that it was more enticing than the friend thing. That's saying something. Their family did a lot of yardwork together. I think that's really great. They had buttermilk pancakes every Saturday morning (I remember partaking of these pancakes many a time after sleepovers). And every Sunday, they had a cookie-baking contest, with Jim as the judge.
He had such a strong, simple, yet poignant testimony. He bore his testimony every single month (I'm in their ward now). I especially appreciated hearing his testimony during the last few years, while he was struggling with his health. It strengthened. It never wavered. I know that, when it was time for him to pass, he was ready to meet his Maker.