8:18 pm. January 19th. I read the text and then read it again. And again.
Does this say what I think it says? Time may be very short? What?
I can’t breathe.
And then I just sat there. For maybe 10 or 15 more minutes. I just sat there. It’s like I couldn’t feel anything at all for those minutes. I thought, for a split second, that it wouldn’t overtake me. But eventually, it did. And I nearly ran. I was at a birthday party and bumbled and mumbled through my goodbyes with only a brief explanation.
And no one there, at that moment, really knew who you were.
Thinking about that silly little fact now, I find such injustice in that. It’s silly that it bothers me, but it does. It’s impossible for anyone to know EVERYONE….but EVERYONE should know YOU….REALLY KNOW you. And everyone should know your family too….because if they don’t know them, they don’t know you.
They should know the birthday parties you threw for your wife. They should know about the cheesecakes you made for her and her friends for one of those birthdays. They should know the fathers heart you’ve always have had for my children, and especially for my Mags when she has struggled. They should know how, for years , you were the “kid whisperer” at church and in Sunday school. They should know about that time you hid in the back of my suburban and scared the tar out of me when I drove out of your driveway….so many laughs! They should know your love of crossfit and mountain biking and cooking with your wife. They should know how you love and inspire your employees. Your friends. Your people. You have so many people my friend. But not all of the people. I wish everyone knew you. Really knew you. Because their life would be better if they did.
You see, my friend, you are one of those people who knows how to Love well. There aren’t many of them around these days. Oh they’re around, they’re just not you. You have loved one of my dearest and oldest friends so very well. You always put her first. You showed the world that she’s the top priority in you life right after God. You’ve always supported her heart and her dreams. You’ve shown your children what it means to love well and to require the same in their own relationships. You see, those kids of yours? They don’t accept anything less because of you. I don’t know if they’d even know how. You did that. You let God lead….and you and your wife did that.
You have been a gift to me in so many tiny little ways that I don’t even know how to describe. Just your way of “being” has been encouraging to me. I’ve never seen you walk in offense towards anyone, even if it was deserved by the worlds standards. I’ve never heard you speak ill of anyone. I’ve never known you to be harsh. And I saw you love Jesus. What more could one even hope to be?
I don’t know if you will ever read this because I don’t know what God’s plan for you is. I just know that you have lived your life so well. Yes, you have a successful business and those kinds of things…but for this friend, what you have done with your LIFE and the way you have LIVED is the story that needs to be told.
You are forever “Krabbe….it’s a name not an attitude,” to me.
I love you Gary.