Paying Tribute…

Posted: March 24, 2021 in Uncategorized

I’ve ended up having two funerals in the last two days. Yesterday I was the officiant at my mother-in-law’s funeral service. Thinking about all the ways this wonderful woman touched and blessed my life is really hard to comprehend. She passed at age 94. She was the mother of eight, had 23 grandchildren, 39 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild and counting. She was a wonderful prayer warrior who had a prayer list that took at least an hour to get through, plus she would watch the cars go by her house and pray for all who passed as well. She and my father in law were instrumental in me finding my way into the ministry and it was at least in part their influence that helped me to find a faith I wanted for myself. She was a wonderful person, with a quiet strength and a faith stronger than death. She was the best mother in law a guy could ask for and I will miss her very much.

Today I attended the viewing of another person who influenced me greatly. His name was Joe McCarthy. He passed away at 89 years old. Joe was a Korean War veteran with three Purple Hearts. He was also my scoutmaster for my entire time in Boy Scouts. He was a different kind of scoutmaster. He was less interested in us getting ranks and merit badges, as he was in helping us to be good men. We had to work to earn things like camps and other trips and his motto which was on every poster for all of our events was something left over from the military, FBSM which stood for Flood, Blood, S____ or Mud. Basically it meant if we said we were going to do something, we would do it or die trying. We would collect newspapers throughout the town and sell them to the recycling center to pay for our trips. Once when the paper prices were low, he held them in his garage until the price went up. By the they were stacked to the roof and we needed a dump truck to get them to the mill. He was a guy who gave up a lot of his time and effort to give us great experiences. He would take us to scout camp at the beach, rather than the camp that was nearby. He taught us how to build things by lashing logs together, including a forty foot tall observation tower we built entirely out of logs and twine, and took to the scout jamboree. I remember the first attempt to get it there was roof topped on his Rambler station wagon. I’m still not sure how he thought that would work. When that didn’t work he secured another truck. Most people would have given up after the Rambler incident, but once again FBSM was in play and our tower made the front page of the paper. Joe was a great guy who I valued very highly. He will be missed. Joe was one of the good guys.

I am grateful to God that He put both of these wonderful people in my life. Even long lives seem too short sometimes.

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