The last two days have been a whirlwind of emotions around here. They have been reflective, insightful and educational. During the last two days, I have come together with people that I haven’t seen in a long time. I have met new people. These two days were filled with hope, sadness, memories and awe.
In the last two days, I have attended two funerals. The world lost two men, both of whom happened to be named George. Both of whom were great men in their own unique ways.
The first George I did not know well. The family were friends of my family as I was growing up. I ended up living in the same neighborhood as this George, yet still was more familiar with his wife and daughter. George was 87 when he passed on. I learned that George was a local business owner for a number of years. George served our country as a gunnery instructor in the Air Corps during WWII. George loved to show his creative side by painting. This is something I learned after his passing. Death did not come easy for George. Like so many, including my own father, George battled a terminal illness that eventually took his life. I walked away from his service wishing I would have known him better. That I would have spent some more time in my own neighborhood. That I could have seen some of his art.
The second George was an extended part of my family. He was the father of my brother’s wife. The grandfather of my niece and nephew. If you were ever lucky enough to meet George, you would not have ever forgotten him. He also served our country, through the Air Force. He was a jokester. A man that would pat you on the back when he greeted you. Every time. He loved people and he worshiped God. He had a laugh that you could pick out of a stadium full of laughter. He was the kind of man that would drive 3 hours one way to go pick berries with his grandchildren. Then drive home again. He was a gentleman in every sense. George was 75 when he was taken from us. He passed away quickly and unexpectedly while visiting his daughter in California. Death was kind to him. I was touched by George from the first time I met him. I wish we would have been able to spend more time together while he was on this earth.
In the past two days, we have had to say goodbye to two Georges. Two men who were deeply loved by their families. Two men who contributed many things to their communities through church groups, organized community committees and their overall love for others. The world could use more Georges. Goodbye George. Goodbye George. I’m sure you’re both wearing your wings well.