Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

I am thinking tonight what it is going to feel like not having Vince in the pew behind me.

Vince was one of the "old guard" at our church and passed away on Monday after a winter of kind of stormy health where you knew all winter long "he wasn't doin' good", as we say around here. A lot of us were wondering if he'd make it through the winter...but he did.

He sat in the pew behind me every week. Even as his multiple chronic illnesses weakened him, I could always feel a strong spiritual presence sitting behind me. One of the ways we all knew "he wasn't doing well" is he started not making it to church on Sundays. This is a guy who braved all sorts of Kirksville winter weather during Advent and our extremely early Lent/Easter season. When he doesn't show, you know something's wrong.

Father Time and his various illnesses got the best of him and he passed away early this past week. We buried him on Friday.

Over the time I got to know him, I recognized that when Vince was a younger man, he was probably a pretty robust, burly guy who "did a lot" and didn't have much time or patience for people who weren't interested in hard work. There were many times I was working on various things at church and he'd tell me, "A few years ago, I'd be helping you with that. I should be helping you with that, but old age is getting in my way." I would tell him not to worry, that he'd put in "his time" and then some with church projects, and he deserves to rest on his laurels a little.

But you could tell being older and weaker really bugged him. The best he could do now was to be a robust spiritual presence. It was a job he did well. On the days that I didn't want to get out of bed this winter and shovel snow at Trinity, I did it anyway, because I knew I wanted to make the walks safer for the "old guard", including Vince. I knew he was going to be there come hell or high water, and I owed it to him to guard his safety.

Tomorrow, I know I am going to feel a big empty hole in the pew behind me. Oh, sooner or later, someone will fill this spot, but for now it is still "Vince's spot", and I know tomorrow, I will feel that gap.



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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