Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Life is Short - A Tribute to my friend Kenny

OK, Life is Short.  We all know that.  It’s short even when someone lives to be 100.  But I know it’s short because Randy didn’t make it to 61.  And recently I was reminded how short it was when my friend Kenny died at age 56. 

I went to his service today in my little hometown of Weiner, Arkansas.  I rode, thanks to Facebook, with two friends from high school (and one husband) who I had not seen since graduating.  We re-connected with each other and with 14 other people from our high school graduating class of 35!  (I don’t know that we saw all 14, but that’s the count, according to another friend.)  It was joyful to see everyone we saw and to love on the family of Kenny, who we will all miss.  He was one of those rare people who everyone liked and who never said a bad word about anyone.  I hurt for his wife Carol and his mother, as well as his son and brothers.  I know they will all miss him, as there is a hole in their world that he used to fill.  I rejoice that he is in heaven and maybe getting to know Randy better (they only met once, but they are both good guys)!

Not only did we see classmates today – I saw “Miss Myrth,” who was our first-grade teacher.  The rumor is that she is 95, but she doesn’t look much different than 50 years ago!  I also saw my dad’s close friend and our former neighbor, Warren.  With tears in his eyes, he told me how much he missed my daddy every day.  I was so thankful for his honesty and for the reminder of how they loved each other.

I saw Daddy’s sister – Aunt Belva (also in her 90s) and cousin Daisy and Miss Roberta (who I can’t see without thinking about Red – the cutest, shortest couple in the world.  Red died 5 years ago and I know she misses him every day).  I shouldn’t name people because I will miss someone, but the small community came out in force to show their respect for this good man and his family and I was so proud to be from there.  Thank you all for being who you are.

The last song played was “That Old Time Rock & Roll.”  I heard that was at Kenny’s request and I really was itching to get up and dance.  Unfortunately, the “appropriate” part of me won out and I didn’t.  Now, again thanks to Facebook, I find out that some of my classmates would have joined me had I gotten up!  Did I mention that the service was in the church in which I grew up?  That may have been a bit of my inhibition, although it was not a church that was against dancing (I couldn’t have tolerated that, even as a teenager J

So, I’m sitting here tonight, remembering Randy and Kenny and thinking about the wonderful people I was blessed to know early in life and ever since.  We wouldn’t ever make it through all that we do without each other and without the faith we all call ours.

Our goal is to get together soon – before we lose another one of our own, but at a time when we can simply be happy.  I hope and pray that happens.  Until then, I look forward to seeing Randy and Kenny (and my Daddy and others) in heaven and doing a lot of DANCING around that throne!

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