So, George, look at what you have done: I have been shaped as a man by you just letting me see your life as you lived it. The joys were celebrated and the struggles were met with faith in Christ, spunk, and even laughter. Life has been both good and hard for you. You have showed me how to embrace both of these things and play the hand that we have been dealt. I have learned to live well in this world because of your friendship and influence on my life. Such a great gift you have given me.
And now it is time for the final lesson. I so wish we could both drop this class, George, but apparently it is a part of the core curricula of life. You are now teaching me how to die well – with gospel hope in my heart, a laugh on my lips, and a great smile on my face. I promise to learn from you everything I can. But you should know something really important – when you can teach someone to both live and die well, yours is a life well-lived.
I love you, George Roorda.
And yes, I promise. I’ll see you soon. You owe me lunch.