Monday, November 01, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Jeremy and I found out this weekend that a dear friend of ours from Knoxville passed away. It wasn't a total surprise - he was 90 and we knew that he was in the hospital, but it still hurts. Gerhard was one of those people who you thought would live forever.

Since moving to Maine a few months ago, Jeremy and I will go over all the people in Knoxville we miss. Gerhard and his wife were always near the top of that list. They went to our church and we were fortunate enough to get to know them in the four years we lived there. They were both very active in everything. They were both on the Social Ministry and Outreach commission at church with me. Both delivered meals for Mobile Meals regularly. In fact, a couple of years ago there was an article in the paper about Gerhard's involvement. Some of the people they delivered to were younger than him! They also did all the recycling for our church and Gerhard was a big supporter of an organization I was in called Knoxville Interfaith Network. He was very concerned with the hungry around him and according to others, he's the reason why our church first became involved in Bread for the World. Basically, Gerhard did a lot.

He was such an inspiration to both of us. I don't know how many times Jeremy and I have said that we'd like to be like him and his wife when we're older. They were so active! A couple of years ago Gerhard hurt his knee and was on crutches. A few weeks later he was walking again just fine. I was surprised at how fast he bounced back. Not long after that, he and his wife were vacationing in Panama.

Gerhard also always had a smile on his face and a good word to say. Jeremy and I were in a supper club at church with him and his wife and a couple other couples last year. When it was his turn to host, he showed us all his beautiful gardens and the new trees he planted. I was again amazed at how active he was and all the work he could do. I hope I'm like that when I'm 89! He also told us some pretty funny stories during supper club. I won't repeat them here, but trust me, they're a riot.

So it's with sad hearts we say goodbye to Gerhard, even if we can't be there Wednesday for his memorial service. When we got the news of his passing, we paused for a moment, but then we started telling stories about him and our time with him. Things that reminded us of him. He definitely lived a full life worth remembering.


1 comment:

Cherish said...

I always struggle with death. I'm sorry you've lost a friend. He does sound like a wonderful man who gave much to the world.