The pastor from the church I grew up in died last week. He had leukemia, but he lived a good, long life. He was one of the kindest and most loving people I have ever met. His funeral service included a portion where people in the congregation could stand up and say something about him, and so many people had stories about how he had helped them and changed their lives for the better.
Rev. Hagy loved it when I brought my harp to play in church. Whenever I had a degree recital coming up in school I would call him and ask if I could do a practice recital at the church. I always worried that I was being a bother, but he was always so welcoming and supportive. He would actually joke and laugh about the way I always asked - "Would we MIND you coming to give a recital at the church?!" He would laugh.
I miss his laugh. At the start of his funeral service I half expected to see him standing at the doorway greeting people as they walked in. I played during the service. I cried, but it was a focused kind of crying, so I made it through. Lots of people commented afterwards how much he loved my playing.
I'm really thankful that I knew him. I'm resolving to follow his example to try to be a better person, and to love more.
I'm sad, and this is not my most articulate post ever. Fitting, though, that I just finished performing Strauss's Death and Transfiguration this past week. You don't really need words when you can make music.