Some people are in our lives for a long time, but they exist in the periphery. They are always there, whether it is a wave in the morning on the way to work, a brief chat while waiting to pick your kids up from a school or a sporting event, sitting next to someone on the bus or train on the way to work every day, or a neighbor who you stop to chat with every once in awhile, or who even helps you out from time to time around the house.
But without really realizing it, they have an effect on your life. Simple gestures and brief conversations often leave lasting memories, even when you are not really aware of it…until something happens that makes you stop and take a long hard look at them.
My parents had that kind of neighbor.
I’d known him more than half my life, I was 14 when we moved into the neighborhood (they lived there already) and let’s just say I’m well over 28 right now.
Last week, at only 60 years old, a fall sent him to the hospital and eventually home – his eternal home.
If there was ever a man who heard these words “well done, good and faithful servant”, it had to be Al.
I have a lot of good memories of him, mostly of being picked on and one time even being picked up and carried through the yard and deposited in a dumpster. He pulled me out eventually… Even though he liked to joke and have fun, one thing was always certain – he cared about people.
He will be missed…
And that was crystal clear during the visitation with the family today. I swear there had to be 100 people that passed through in the hour we waited in line to offer our condolences, and 100 more behind us.
For his family….
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