To a friend who lost his father – a decorated Veteran, just a few months ago:
My Dad had health problems that kept him home from WW II. Instead he became a different kind of Vet. He was our small town’s Veterinarian, ministering to cows, horses, pigs, skunks, and also to a myriad of cats and dogs – to everybody in town’s favorite pet. When he died in December 1997 of pancreatic cancer, having closed his practice of 53 years only a month earlier in November of that year, there were far too many folks at the funeral for the church to hold.
You may like people, but you love your pet. And that sweet guy who kept your beloved pet going (and in many cases was also the one you trusted to put your pet to sleep) was someone you counted on. His death was such a loss in that small town. He even had clients who had been with him all 53 years and their grief seemed about as deep as our family’s.
Now it is our turn. We are the ones who make up the precious fabric of this – our small town. You minister to their real estate and political needs.
We offer them great pottery, and I try to help shape their social and environmental consciousness while they think they are just having fun.
Lesley, thank God, badgers them with news of the amazing arts community we live in, and it works.
Tomorrow I will remember your Dad, and Mark’s uncle who died in WW II, and my uncles who served as well.
And we will keep on building our community. Because all good starts right here and trickles out. And because it is the richest and most rewarding way to live.
(How did trickle-down miss that simple truth?)
Lovely to see you both tonight. I am looking forward to a belated birthday dinner here in January.