With Mom’s passing, I was reminded again of how rare and beautiful a man with a humble heart truly is. I am missing my mom and wishing I could have witnessed the reunion when she and Dad found each other in heaven. The thing is, my family is surrounded by more than our fair share of good men. I am not bragging at all; I can hardly believe our good fortune because I know how rare good men are.
Beloved single moms tell me how hard it is to find good role models for their boys. I have single friends I would like to match up with a good man. But, it seems all the good men of a certain age are already in committed relationships.
Good men choose a road less traveled and we are all better for their commitment. For me personally, this was a tough year; heaven has gained some more folks I will miss until I join them.
One Family, Two Good Men Gone
For one family we love, it was a double loss when a father and a husband made entrance to heaven within months of each other. To know these two men was to love them. Please forgive me, if I take a moment and focus on just the two. They stood out in a crowd.
Parenting Questions Answered
I first met Jim when I tracked him and his wife down for an interview. I had my questions. Was it a fluke that some folks seem to raise strong, enterprising kids? Are there tips any parent can try? What are the common denominators for good parents?
Believe me, I know these are not easy questions; I inflicted plenty of parental heartache on my own parents.
I soon learned to love the way Jim and his wife laughed together and bounced ideas off of each other in deep mutual respect. They welcomed me into their family circle like they welcome everyone, with a million questions about my life. I ate the best pork chops this side of heaven at her table in the kitchen that is the heart of their home.
Devoted life-long learners themselves, Jim and his wife instilled a love for education in their family creatively, often pairing vacations with history, for instance.
Jim’s generous spirit took the lessons he learned as an African American man growing up during Jim Crow and transformed them into a lifestyle devoted to breaking down barriers. He wholeheartedly embraced my desire to put the history of a segregated high school, Stanton High School, on the front page of the Bullard Banner. Like the newspaper, he recognized our opportunity to get oral histories documented on the internet for future generations. He enthusiastically introduced me to key people who graciously answered the questions of a gal with limited understanding and lots of curiosity.
With a dad like that, it’s no surprise that their daughter recognized and cherished Todd’s heart. Like his father-in-law, Todd devoted himself to crossing barriers and uniting people around things that really matter. He was a giant of a man, a rugged football player in high school, known for his tenderness and love of family as an adult. At his funeral countless people said, “I can’t believe I won’t get anymore Todd hugs until heaven.”
Todd unselfishly did anything he could to provide for those less fortunate than himself. Whether it was health care, physical necessities, safety for children, education, or opportunity, Todd spent a lifetime devoting his own tech and financial skills to the service of others. Not to mention his huge heart.
I know we will see our brothers Jim and Todd again in heaven, but all I feel right now is the vacuum created by their absence. And my own Mom’s absence. There are a few others, too, that will leave a void in my life, daily reminding me how tenderly they shepherded me in my faith. The more good and godly people are, the more we miss them when they go. If, like me, you are reviewing the year with a place in your heart that feels empty because of the people who aren’t with you anymore, may I offer you my deepest condolences?
May I pray for you?
Dear Father, the new year seems tough when we miss loved ones. We look for that smile we loved or the hug we counted on and its missing. Our hearts grieve and we really don’t have words for the depth of our yearning. Teach us to draw close to You in our sorrow. Help us know You in the deepest places where only You can fill our hearts’ desires. We turn to You now for comfort. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I want to hear from you.
When you feel alone, what are some of your best strategies to overcome sorrow and despair? What tips do you have for those wishing to offer comfort?
Cathy Krafve, Texas Author, Columnist, Speaker, and Radio Host, focusing on fellowship in Christian Marriage and Family, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.