Friday, February 27, 2015

My neighbor's a super-hero

Hi Mike,

Guess you’re getting ready to go soon now, huh?

Well…you’ve been getting ready for a long time. What’s it been, some 15 years or so, you’ve been fightin’ with a heart that just wants to quit?

I want you to know it’s been a real pleasure—an honor—getting to know you.

Roxy and I are thankful you and Brenda moved in, and God allowed us to be neighbors…friends.

You fought hard, like a real super hero. You did the right things, even when no one was looking, even when it hurt. You got up and went to church—when most folks would stay in bed. You took care of yourself, ate right and exercised…and yet, here you are, on a hospice bed in the middle of your living room, with an oxygen mask indenting your cheeks.

And I think things like, it’s just not fair.

But you say words like, “When the doctors are through, and there’s no more they can do, then…I’ll go bye-bye.” You lift a little smile, like it’s no big deal. And I’m always impressed every time you do.

You’ve lived in today, while being packed and ready to step into tomorrow—that always impressed me about you, too.

You and Brenda were forever bringing treats for the kids and little gifts for us—wish we could’ve shared some of that last pecan pie you bought. But, I ate your share, and mine. You’ve spoiled us…and wore a path from your house, and heart, to ours.

Thanks for hanging out in the carport while I worked on that old fixer-upper boat. I saw the smile under your oxygen mask every time I’d make a stupid joke—thanks for that, too.

We spent last Christmas morning playing chess in a hospital room—don’t tell my family, but I can’t remember a better Christmas. 

Remember the other day when you said, “I’m not gonna make it.”?

Well, my friend, you’ve already have made it. You’ve lived a Godly life, raised a family and loved your wife.

You told me you’d never make it ‘til Friday, ‘til when all you kids could come. 

Well…Mike, my friend. I just looked out the window and saw a car drive up in front of your house and the last of your kids are piling out.

They drove all night—700 miles. Guess what? It’s Friday. They’re here. You made it. Well done.

Oh, and one more thing, if you don’t mind… when the time comes for you to go bye-bye, please tell God, that I said…“Thanks.”

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