Some towns have fun offering individuals a chance to paint an iconic object then place them all over town, repeating the sameness, honoring the differences. Nags Head, NC once had painted horses, Lexington, NC often has painted pigs, Black Mountain, a beautiful mountain town, has rocking chairs that invite pause, reflection. So I did pause and reflect and enjoy the cool of a day that had already begun to beckon fall.
We had been to a funeral, and I had the grandmother, the mother, the wife and the two young children of the young man who died on my heart. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army stationed in Germany, was struck by a train as he rode his bicycle. He was almost 38. The town where he grew up, Canton, honored him and his family with gestures that fit those words that someone painted on this chair: Encourage, hope, support, love, respect, strength and comfort, especially. Neighbors lined the streets from his grandmother’s house to the church with flags in hand. A fellow LTC from Germany and two ministers spoke about Shane and his life. “It’s all good,” Shane would say to his coworkers to encourage and support them. “It’s all good.”
I know it won’t be all good for his family as they learn to live life without Shane, but I hope that some moments of grace, of peace, reminders of his gentleness and kindness and exuberance for life will surround them.
And I will write about some red threads soon. I am untangling some of those thoughts as I write.