Sitting in the backyard watching the kids over at our neighbor's house I had a memory from way way back of Mr. John. I was probably no older than Henry is now at age six, most likely I knew Mr. John even earlier. As soon as I remembered Mr. John I realized that Mr. Chad is my kid's Mr. John.
When we lived on Clover Lane my sister and I, along with the other neighborhood kids would gather at Mr. John and Mrs. Kay's house for ice cream. I have few memories other than we got treats over there. We always called them Mr. and Mrs. and we were always supposed to be grateful and respectful. Mr. John died sometime around those young years but Mrs. Kay lived for many years after we were long gone from Clover Lane.
As soon as I remembered Mr. John I grabbed my camera and ran over to take this photo. Some of the kids were scattering but I made them come back. I'm sure glad I did. Notice the kids's treat?
Mr. Chad has been our neighbor for the last nine years. We don't see much of him during the Winter but in the Summer we see him quite a bit, as does all of our little town. Everybody knows Mr. Chad. He wheels our neighborhood with one of his nurses, stopping to talk to people, checking out the town and neighborhood projects. He stops to see what we have been up to and catches up for a visit.
Chad likes to give the kids suckers, candy and juice boxes and they really enjoy them and him. He's been generous and bought them sparkers for the fireworks the town puts on and countless other fun things for the kids. We were also honored to go to his 40th birthday party this past Spring.
More than anything else, he has been planting seeds for our children. This is where I'm so thankful to God for Mr. Chad. He's been giving us lessons on charity, compassion and suffering, just by being. We have been blessed to be able to teach our children not to be afraid of people with disabilities.
Mr. Chad has been kind to us, more than just by fetching our habitual sneaking off dog. I think of Mr. Chad as a gift straight from God. One which we will miss terribly.
Last Saturday night Mr. Chad passed away.
It was really hard for me to tell our kids. They had a lot of questions, which they haven't asked before with all the other funerals we've been to in the last month. Henry determined that heaven is a very large cloud because it has to have a lot of room for all the people.
While we are happy for the end of Mr Chad's suffering here on Earth, we are sad for our loss of a great neighbor and friend. We will miss you Chad! We will also miss his nurses and PCA's we've gotten to know over the years.
Thank you Chad for being you, our friend! Our neighborhood will never be the same without you. We will miss you!
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May he rest in peace.