Saturday, January 12, 2013

Be Someone's Best Friend

I recently attended the memorial service of the son of a woman in my church. He had grown up in our church but had lived his entire adult life in Tulsa. Since the service was not being held in his current hometown I was expecting a small attendance. But the sanctuary was completely full with standing room only remaining. There were probably a hundred or more men wearing golf shirts among those in attendance . It was an unusual assembly of people.

The deceased had succumbed to the ravages of a brain tumor following a brief but devastating illness. He was married but had no children. He had two dogs, loved to play golf and was a plumbing salesman by profession. I couldn’t help but wonder what he had done in his life to merit such an assembly of mourners.

Then one by one his friends stepped to the alter to speak about the life of this man. One referred to him as a remarkable round mound of sound, which in the Will Rogers tradition, never met a man who didn’t like him. It was amazing to hear how many of these men counted him as “my best friend.”

One said he was perennially possessed of a remarkably sunny disposition, a quick and incisive wit, and a brightly smiling visage, one didn’t have to look for a good time when in his company because he was his own good time. His generosity to those less fortunate was the stuff of legend. His exploits through the years at his home away from home, on the golf course or in the clubhouse pouring over cards with “the gang”, his presence was always eagerly anticipated.

Many of those golfers’ kids and grand-kids referred to him as “Uncle” and would be shocked to learn that legally he wasn’t. That same love came from every waiter, attendant, staffer and bag room guy at his Club. Again, he was always referred to by all as, “my best friend.”

It was said that he dealt with his last great challenge as eloquently, yet humbly, as was his endearing nature. To the very the end, he was witty and welcoming, never burdening others. As in everything he did, he demonstrated his remarkable sense of humor and his love for his family, friends and dogs, and made everyone better for having known him. When the creator fashioned him, he broke the mold. There will be no one like him passing this way again. Truly, the good die young, regardless of how old they are. The world will never be the same minus his sun-lit smile and piercing wit.

Have you ever wondered what might be said about your life when that time comes? I have. We should all strive to be considered someone’s “best friend”. Treat each person you meet as if you already were.

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