Tribute to a friend

Days like today and news like this makes one stop and think and take stock. Seriously.

This morning we heard that a dear friend of ours left this life and went to be with Jesus. My husband, Peter, had been to the hospital the night before last to see him in the ICU. We knew that his time was short.

Dan had been fighting valiantly against cancer for a number of years. In September 2012 he was given the verdict that no one wants to hear: you have three months to live. Well, Dan was a fighter and he bested the best of the doctors.

Peter and I went to visit Dan and his wife, Marilyn,  in their home last fall shortly after Dan had received the doctor’s prediction. Our friend told us he felt that his time here wasn’t up yet. He was right. He lived for another year.

Despite time in the hospital for chemo treatments, it was a year lived to the full with his wife and family and friends. Just this fall Dan and Marilyn celebrated the 25th anniversary of the day they met. They also had a camping adventure together at Thanksgiving  just a few short weeks ago in October.

Dan loved nature and being outdoors in God’s creation. He shared his sense of wonder and gratitude, by posting things on facebook about various interesting and unusual animals and plants.  Just two weeks before his death, he posted an awesome photo and article about the Green Forest Lizard. Often his timeline would display photos and descriptions of the beautiful flowers from his own garden at home.

Dan was a quiet, gentle man with a dry sense of humor. He was my husband’s best buddy in high school, an usher at our wedding, and my husband was the best man at his.

There was much more to Dan than I can describe here. Many others knew him far better than I. But everyone who was acquainted with Dan knew that he dearly loved and appreciated the people around him; he loved his dog Magic. He loved music, especially songs of faith and worship. And most of all he loved Jesus.

Dan told us last fall that he wasn’t afraid to die. That’s because he had his life “sorted”, as they say. He knew who he was and where he was going. And he knew with certainty that his life, whatever remained of it here on this earth, was in God’s capable and loving hands.

It was a privilege to have known Dan. I give thanks today for the gift and the blessing that he was to us and to so many. With the apostle Paul, I believe Dan can declare: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Rest in peace dear friend.  Till we meet again at Jesus’ feet.

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