You know how a lot of times when someone you know or love passes away, usually there are two more within a short amount of time because it comes in 3s? Well, my heart has been heavy for a few weeks because of a group of three that are no longer on earth. If what the Bible says is true, and I believe it is, these three are all in Heaven so there is rejoicing because of that, but down here on earth it’s a lot less exciting.
Within a few days there was the famed football coach of Florida State, Bobby Bowden. Now I know I come across as this amazing, Hall of Fame adult rec league slow pitch softball player, but I never played college sports so I never knew Bobby Bowden in that way or any personal way. But as long as I was alive, into my 20s, he was the coach of the team I loved my entire life. And when I attended Florida State, he spoke at numerous events I attended. So there is grief, even for me, for his passing. I write more about his passing here.
My sister-in-law’s father. Just a few months ago if you would have told me this guy would no longer be with us, I would’ve dismissed it as some kind of weird joke. But today, half of my family is in Virginia at his funeral. Even though I didn’t see him very often, I have grief because my sister in law is without a father. Her mom, now a widow. My nieces and nephews lost a grandfather. My heart is heavy for them but I pray to God for His comfort, especially today as they mourn, cry, and remember.
Talk show host Phil Valentine. Here in Nashville, for as long as I’ve lived here, I’ve listened to Phil Valentine on the radio. Besides having a booming voice that any radio show host would love to have, he was funny, smart, wise, kind, and clever. I never met him but did have the chance to sit in on a live broadcast a few years back where he and other hosts at the station did an hour-long roundtable show. It’s easy to feel like friends of these hosts because they are very intentional about that… including the listener as part of their radio family. Phil was no different. I’ll miss his declaration that something is “bovine scatology,” his impression of a soft millienial, “Snowflake,” Friday’s dancing in the booth with him and Johnny B. Often times he would be about to say something that might get him “in trouble” with upper management so he’d start by saying, “Johnny, get a ‘best of’ ready!” He wouldn’t proceed with anything very controversial, it was just a set up for a common sense thought that might offend a liberal. But the “get a ‘best of'” line always made me laugh. Sadly, the station had a “best of Phil Valentine” earlier this week after his death on the weekend.
A heavy heart, but still a glimmer of joy as all of these men lived their life for God. They weren’t shy about their faith and I believe they have now stepped into the eternal part of their reward. There IS some comfort in that, for us left on earth.
If you need to vent, share your feelings about loss or hope, or just want to reply, please do so below! As much as I like to write, I can read too, so share as you need.
Thanks for stopping by!
-Out of the Wilderness