Friday, November 02, 2007

Not "Goodbye", just "See You Later"

We attended Joey's funeral today. It was both beautiful and heartwrenching at the same time. The sanctuary was filled. My hubby and a few others stayed until the wee morning hours last night running wire into the gym to show the service in there in case there wasn't enough room.

Joey's son Josh, our children's minister, gave the most touching and fitting eulogy for him. Our 3 other ministers spoke as well, each recounting their own special memories of him.

I kept thinking, "I'm just not ready to say goodbye." We lost our friend to a massive, sudden heart attack on Tuesday morning. This man, who ran at least 5 miles every day, who was in terrific physical shape for being 50 years old--we never expected that to happen.

But as the stories were told, the memories I had of him kept flooding in, as I'm sure they did for everyone there. I remembered our first night at our church back in November of 2002. They were practicing a Christmas cantata, and Bryan introduced me to Joey and his wife Marsha (he and Eric A. had invited us to church). Joey was guessed Jesus. I remember thinking what a great Jesus he portrayed. He and Marsha made us feel so welcomed right from the start.

I remembered other times too--seeing Joey running past our house early on many mornings. The mornings I didn't see him, he was running, but I was just sleeping in :)

I remember how he showed up at my door the evening after I totaled my car 3 years ago when I was pregnant with Zoe. He had two big trays of food that he and Marsha had prepared so that we wouldn't have to worry about dinner on that stressful (and sore!) night.

I remembered how he prepared food and washed dishes each Wednesday night, always smiling, happy to serve. How he loved all the kids in the church, and how the little ones were just drawn to him in the nursery. Hubby remembers all the times they spent working together, dining at the Mexican restaurant for lunch, how he could see right into Joey's office from his.

And something was said today that I won't forget--we're not saying "Goodbye", just "See you later". I'm so glad to have that promise today, and my prayer is that we can touch people's lives like Joey did--unselfishly, not looking for praise, so that we'll see many more faces there--faces of people who's lives were changed because of us.


Maggie said...

Such a blessing to read other's stories. Thanks for sharing this.

Jules said...

I have read yours and Maggie's and your pastor's post all concerning this man whom you all loved. I am so touched by your love for him and how his servanthood has touched each of you. I am sorry for your loss. I know that it is difficult to lose someone suddenly. God was bringing him home. Certainly a comforting thought. Blessings to you all who knew him.