About six months ago I was told about a college friend who, like so many, was waging a battle with cancer. Even though I had had no contact with him since college, I remembered him to have a sweet demeanor and that the two of us had been in a group called The Sound Majority Singers. It was meant to be similar to the Christy Minstrels, a popular singing group in the sixties. We had a ball and I recalled that he had played the base fiddle. I remember, too, that he was quite handsome and someone I thought would make an enviable boyfriend but thought he was way out of my league.
Now many years later he was experiencing a recurrence of a cancer he had had before and I was told that his wife and family were chronicling his battle on a website called CaringBridge. Some of you may have heard of this website but it was new to me.
As the diary of sorts went on, I saw how truly faith-filled he and his family were and their strength was awe-inspiring. Today the last post indicated that my friend was in his final hours of life and I wrote this poem which I will send to the family when my friend's life on earth has passed. I pray for a painless and quiet end leading to the jubilation in heaven upon his arrival.
AT HEAVEN'S GATE
When God the Father called him home
It left an empty place,
For no one else was quite like him.
We miss his gentle face...
His countenance, the way he thought,
The joy he brought to others.
We miss him as a husband, dad,
A grandpa, friend and brother.
But most of all we miss his strength,
Just how his faith stood strong.
He never wavered, fought the fight,
Although his battle long.
With family and friends beside,
The days he spent were rich.
The fabric of a life well lead
With love in every stitch.
And though we bid a sad farewell,
We know he healthy stands
Before the Lord he loved so much
And joins the heavenly bands...
In songs of thankfulness and praise.
T'was worth his earthly wait.
He knows so well we'll meet again,
Right there at heaven's gate.