My sons would chide me for thinking and writing about death. Two posts in a row on the subject of death is unusual, but this has been that kind of a week. I learned when I made one of my regular trips to the gym that an older gentleman I often saw there had died of a heart attack. Edward, one of the trainers, told me. He described this individual, and I knew immediately who he meant. Edward said he called him "Fast Eddy." I did not know Fast Eddy well. In fact I still don't know his real name, though I did talk with him one day about his career as a railroad conductor. After that, we greeted each other regularly. The gym is that kind of a community, and his passing cast a shadow over us all this week.
Fast Eddy was one of my heroes because of his courage and tenacity. I learned the first time I saw him that he was recovering from a stroke when I listened to others greet him. He walked slowly with a cane into the gym that day and was received with warmth and encouragement. Sometime later, after an extended absence, he returned following yet another stroke, moving even more slowly. But he still continued to come and to use the weight machines. Now I know I will not see him again, and there's a tiny hole in my heart. It seems strange to grieve someone I did not know well, but it is a timely reminder of our connection with one another. None of us will ever really know how much of an impact we have on the lives of those we encounter in this life. We are each uniquely important to each other and to God.
Grace and Peace,