Mr. S. died on November 18th. Those words are not stated merely as a fact, but they are stated with great respect. Mr. S was a very fine man, and he had many admirable qualities. He is someone that I will continue to look up too. Not only was he a strong Christian, but he had many worldly qualities as well. For example, there were so many things around his house that he built himself. He was great at woodwork, and he wasn't afraid to work with his hands and get a little dirty.
Now, only two weeks after his death (it seems like ages), am I finally ready to post about it. I've opted not to read other people's posts about the matter (including my own wife's posts, which I will read after posting this). I preferred instead to digest everything, examine my feelings, and then write. I'll read everybody else's thoughts later. Sure, you may not be able to "feel" the raw emotions I felt in the beginning, since I've let some time pass --- but I don't prefer to broadcast my emotions, anyway.
The main thing I ask myself is, "Who will I remember?" There are lots of different answers to this, because there are many different situations in which I have seen Mr. S. If I think about him as a leader of our church, then I remember him in this fashion: giving announcements during the service in a very southern accent, mentioning building repairs that were needed during church meetings, bringing up issues that no one usually thinks of, and dressing very well for the service. If I think about his declining health, I think about the prayers that were said for him, the delight he took in the singing of songs, the way he would pick up his walker and walk normally (just holding the walker), the pills that he took, but most of all, how he remained dignified even when dressed in his pajamas and how he tried to appear that he was "doing just fine" (even insisting that he go out to eat). If I think about his humor, I think about how he stuck out his tongue at Mrs. S to show her that he hadn't swallowed his pills yet, how he jokingly accused Mrs. S of putting crumbs over his placemat, and the wry smile that he would give after making a joke. If I think about his love, I think about the kisses he would ask his wife for as she served him his dinner, about the many people he has invited into his home, about the many weddings he and his wife would attend, and about the stools he worked hard to make as gifts.
I could go on and on about the different ways I think about Mr. S - his practical, down to earth style, his modesty, his little quirks, his service to the Lord, etc.; and there are probably a hundred little anecdotes that I could bring up (#4 haircut, moving his chair to just the right spot, watching baseball with wireless earphones, dominoes, etc.). When it comes down to it though, there just isn't another man that I have as much respect for as Mr. S, and not another woman that I have as much respect for as Mrs. S.
I know Mr. S is "doing just fine" right now, and that he is enjoying being with the Lord. I know that Mrs. S is going to miss him more than I can imagine, and is going to have to rely on the Lord for her comfort. My prayers go out to all of those who knew him, that God comfort them, bless them, keep them, grow them, and glorify himself. I'd just like to end with a shout out to those in heaven: Mr. S arrived on November 18th.