I am a bit chocked up this afternoon. One of my dearest friends and her family just lost her dad last evening. I received a call from her husband a few hours ago and the news has yet to settle on me.
George was one of the kindest, most gentle persons I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Combined with a strong intellect, honesty and a desire to minister, he fled the confines of Methodist theology for work and life among Unitarians. He was equally at home and accepted among his daughter and son-in-law's small Reform congregation where she and I met several years ago.
Upon being introduced to him, I asked with a slow smile whether I should call him Reverend. He returned the smile with a twinkle in his eye, saying simply, "Just call me George."
Already dealing with the declines that come with Parkinson's, George loved to read widely, and had an off-beat sense of humor and the gratitude to embrace life no matter the circumstances.
I will miss our visits, his stories and adventures of a life well lived and choosing cards to send him knowing that one of the small still-cherished pleasures of his life was getting mail.
He leaves my world a richer place both in his example of a kind and peaceful spirit and in the friendship of his remaining family.