When I had to put pen to paper and write my own obit, the exercise proved to be quite thought provoking. How did I want the world--my family--to remember me? What life accomplishments would I want highlighted? What relationships associated with my name? And, what did I want NOT said? What misdeeds would I just as soon have buried with me, never to be remembered against me no more?
This week, our family is preparing for the "home-going" of my stepfather, George Williams. George's life is one intriguing story: born to Vaudeville-performer parents. . .set out to make his own way in the world as a young teen. . .worked in the West Virginia coal mines. . .served in the merchant marines during WWII (and bears the tattoos to prove it). . .then lived in Japan for several years following the war as a career military man.
But these descriptors don't tell the whole story of the man my mother fell in love with over a decade ago. George wants more than anything to be remembered as a man redeemed by God and committed to sharing his faith. He held every job there was to hold in his local church--from missionary president to janitor. Yet his religion went beyond works, straight to the heart.
By worldly standards, The Life of George might be considered the tale of an ordinary man. Yet, his story is a masterpiece in so many regards. Never shy to proclaim his devotion to Christ, George has also been a kind and Christlike companion to my mother, ever caring and attentive to her needs above his own. (And he gets a few more stars in his crown for being the only man I know who's actually read every single one of my published books.)
I thank God for allowing me to share in these final chapters of George Williams' earthly tome. I can't wait to see what Volume Two reveals!
George, your story continues in the lives you've touched. I love you. I'll miss you.