My telephone rings, in the receiver I hear, “This article your wrote?”
“Yes?” I reply
“Well, it kind of sucked.”
The voice on the other end says back to me.
So I said, “Didn’t like it huh?
You want me to put you down on the negative side, that your vote?”
A little pause, and then a chuckle, “No. Put me down on that side TWICE!”
My Lil Brother John ….. One of the great things about friends, or friendship, is that they (friends, close friends) can tell you things in a way where you understand and you do not take exception to it. They can, because they are special, step over the line and rub you the wrong way, but you take it, because they are your peculiar treasure in life. A cut above the crowd.
They like you for who you are, warts and all, and that gives them what I call “Special License” and often, I let him slide. If it came from someone else I would “nail their hide to the barn door” but because it came from John, I always gave him a pass.
4:35 a.m. end of the week, it has been a long, long row to hoe. My friend has been laid to rest and this is the first week of my life without him, unmistakably, it has been hard. Life can be a cruel taskmaster at times, and I have certainly learned a lesson or two this past seven days.
Albeit, lessons that I would have preferred to have skipped, but was called to attend.
His son called me the day before the memorial service and told me that he was going to read the post Goodbye To My Friend John at his internment. I could not be there (a distance of 1122 miles to his home in Arizona and the time factor coming into play) so it was a comfort to me that something was said to John and it came from me.
I had my part in it, and I got to say, what it is that I wanted to say. Somehow, I know this is going to sound strange, but I just know that John heard every word. Ironically it was somewhat appropriate; it was a piece written by a railroader, for a railroader, and presented to his friends, by his son Sam, railroaders all.
From all indications it was well received and it was a fitting send off to a very special person. Most importantly, above all, God was there, I know that too.
On that day, this website had the highest amount of hits that it ever experienced, over 400 hits in one twenty-four hour period. From the reading of the article at the service at 930 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon, and then on to the next morning. Cumulating in a total of 423 in one twenty-four hour period, an amazing amount of visitors and I am completely blown away by it.
I cannot explain it any other way; it has to be a God thing and nothing more. To me, a person who eats, sleeps, breathes with this thing 24/7 it is just short of phenomenal and no other explanation can explain it.
Thank you to all of you who responded to me during this time and I want to thank you for your encouraging words, the kindness that you extended to me during this period, has not gone un-noticed.
The comments section has been cleared and posted, I chose to not answer any one comment specifically at this time, for obvious reasons. We will just pick up the ball and start running from here, suit up for another game, and get back to living life the best way we can.
“And yes, some of it is going to suck so git reedy as John would say.”
I am truly grateful for all the time that God allowed me to share with this man, John Thomas Wright, and I shall for the remainder of my life, hold in my heart, a special place reserved just for him.
One more time, thanks for the kind words, the patience, you guys are the salt of the earth. I appreciate you. Time has a way of healing the heart, and as the Bible says, “This too shall pass.” My friend is Bound For Glory and I know I am gonna miss him, but it will be alright. It won’t be easy, but it will heal with time.