Word came, from his daughter.
A solemn declaration: “My dad died peacefully in his sleep, last night.
Thank you for your prayers as my family grieves this great loss.”
When I read her words, I was both ‘sad,’ and ‘glad.’

I was sad, because I knew of the great struggle he had been experiencing in recent weeks:
Failing health.
An inability to really function in what he would think was a meaningful way.
He was a truly brilliant man, who held an earned doctorate in education;
A gifted teacher and communicator.
A man who loved his family,
And a man who loved his God … passionately and with great fervor.

And I was sad to think that this world had lost a wonderful man who loved God, and loved people.

But as I reflected on my friend’s life, a warm fondness began to blossom in my mind,
Like some flower opening up in the morning sun.
I remembered his friendship.
I recalled many of his witty comments,
I revisited, in my mind, our times together, what I learned from him.
And I smiled … at what I observed in his life.

When I was just a boy, and many times throughout my younger days,
My dad would tell me that I should choose my friends with great care.
”Friends,” he would say, “are a life-long treasure; The man who finds a good friend really has something.”

He was right, of course. (Dads are right about a lot of things, I think.)
The company a man keeps will have a tremendous impact on his journey in life.

I found a really great treasure, the day I met my friend.
And now, he has moved from ‘here,’ to THERE.
I will have to be content with the memories of our friendship until we meet again.
Iron, indeed, sharpens iron;
“ … One man sharpens another”, says The Book.

I am a better man for having known and ‘sharpened’ by my friend who died this week. I am sorry he is gone.

It is a truth, for certain: Good and loyal friends are a life-long treasure, and the man who finds a good friend really has found something unique and wonderful.
Losing such a friend … is a very great loss, indeed.

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