Since I have been in Hesston I have had to go home for a couple funerals that I knew would come eventually but would never be ready for. Its always hard to say goodbye to someone you love and care about. Well for the first time since I have been here now I have one of those funerals here.
Vernon or Nick as many people called him, is what I would call a pillar member of the church. The guy who leads Sunday School, Wednesday morning Bible Study, and comes to everything church related no matter what, that is until the last couple months when it was just too much.
Vernon had the ability to make me feel special, important, and like I was doing a good job. It became one of my favorite starts to my Sunday morning helping him get his coffee and take it down to his Sunday School Class with him. We would chat and he always had a pen to give me. His pens were super cool too, they lit up on one end and were a writing pen on the other. I honestly don't know much about this man except for the presence he had about him every time you saw him.
As I am learning how to share my life fully with another person and care about them as much or more than myself, I have started watching the older married couples in the church and how they interact with each other, talk about each other, and function as a unit. I would have to say that Vernon's wife Lennea is one of the strongest people I know. She stood through her own ailments by his side every day. And now that he is gone she is still standing. At any time in your life when you are "allowed" to be a mess this would be it. But that isn't how she handles herself. I definitely see a role model here.
I am really going to miss seeing this amazing man around but I have no doubt he is no longer in pain and he is at peace. I just want to say thank you to Vernon for being that church family that I needed when I got here. It has been a pleasure and a blessing to spend the few moments each week I had with you. Thank you for your legacy, dedication, and passion for Christ and his people!
Not the best video quality but I found this gem on my computer today.