Another of our heroes has crossed the Silent River.
The day before Mother’s Day, I had the good fortune of getting to talk to one of my best friends whom I hadn’t seen in a couple of months, Joe Pack. Joe was eating lunch with his lovely wife and constant companion at Pine Mountain Grill, his favorite place to eat and see his old friends.
I don’t know if it was the sound of my voice or if he saw me, but I saw a smile cross his face as I approached their table. Joe had been very sick for a couple of years, but in his old-fashioned way he just smiled and asked how I was doing. I couldn’t help but notice he had a glow about him, like he was from another time and another place.
I invited him to our Kids Day event. He said he couldn’t make it, but would be thinking about us. As his big hand reached out to shake mine, I told him I loved him and he said, “Same here.” I could feel he was a peace, not only with his God but with himself.
I have felt the same feeling many times before and knew this would be my last time seeing Joe alive. As he left on his walker, he turned and gave me the thumbs up sign. I knew he wasn’t far from the crossing but was ready to cross.
My heart and tears go out to his family. My life changes each and every time I lose a friend as dear as Joe Pack. In all our years of friendship, he never turned me down if he could do what I needed.
Joe, I’ll see you again someday where the roses bloom beside the Silent River.