One of the hardest things about serving in the same church in which I grew up is when the members that I've known for my whole life get sick. I freely acknowledge that I am not so great at visiting in hospitals and nursing homes. I've missed out on saying goodbye to many people because of that and I regret each one. This time, though, I had a plan and a back-up plan. I was going to go and say goodbye. If I was too late, I would not feel guilty because I had a plan. And then the phone rang and my back-up plan went into action.
There are no regrets for me that I didn't see Frank before he died. There are tears and grief, but no regrets. I'm sad that I won't be able to sit and listen to his stories anymore or tease Frank about his bad memory. I'm sad that I can't stand with him while he rolls his own cigarettes and give him a bad time about smoking. I'm sad that I won't be able to see that smile again or hear his laughter. I'm sad that our congregation has lost a great man. But, I'm so glad that he isn't struggling anymore. I'm so glad that he's with God. I'm so glad that I had the chance to grow up in the church and know Frank.
Praying for his wife, children and extended family and giving thanks for Frank.