When a Man Dies
Losing an old friend is for awhile an empty spot in one’s emotions. But the cycle of life moves on. The best thing we can do, in reality, is carry them on in our memory fondly.
Gene Grimes was a friend like that. I was introduced to him more than two and a half years ago when I played piano at a fundraiser for this musician who later became my friend. Gene had bone cancer and was then not expected to live long.
He was frail and fading when it came to light that his last wish was to visit his old church friends in Kansas. The fact was, he couldn’t make the trip by himself. I had the time and so I volunteered to escort him on the flight back, from Idaho to mid-Kansas.
We passed through Spokane and Denver airports with Gene in a wheelchair. I thought he would die on the way there, but somehow we made it. We were to stay 3 days, but he kept praying to stay a little longer.
I watched with amazement as the true color of his blood-clotted hands came back to nearly normal. By the end of the second day, Gene looked pretty good. On Sunday, even better. Then, at the airport, ready to leave, we were notified that the plane that was to carry us had been pulled off line for a service call. We had to wait another day. He was next to dancing in the airport lobby over that, truly delighted that his prayer was answered.
Indeed, a retired Pastor, Gene Grimes was a man of faith. He kept praising Jesus and thanking Him for the grace of continuing on with more life.