Man’s feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and of farewell. ~Jean Paul Richter
It is never easy having to say goodbye to someone we love. On Monday at 11 am we will say farewell to one of our own at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake. Walter White, or “Walking Walt,” as he was known to many died yesterday with his family by his side. Walter was 82 years old. It is true that our feelings at meeting and farewell are always the purest feelings.
Think of the time when a child is born. The pure joy that parents feel when a child is born is remarkable. I think about how Walter’s parents must have been glowing at his arrival 82 years ago. They had no idea on his arrival what his journey would look like. On Monday we will be on the other side of that spectrum. We will be saying farewell and Cathy, Nancy, Leslie and David and their families will be living with the most pure of feelings in the midst of that. At the hour of Walter’s farewell we will all recall the life that he lived. We will do our best to be present to his family and to be a healing and comforting presence.
As many of you know Walter was a walker and put many miles on his legs over the years. His life was a journey. His journey was one that no doubt had great moments of joy and sorrow. His life included many moments of greeting and I am certain moments of farewell. Walter was a Navey Veteran of WWII, that time alos brought meetings and farewells. Walter and his wife Elva no doubt had a great glow of feelings when they met so long ago. In 1993 he said farewell to his wife Elva and we can be certain that saying goodbye that that time was alos a time of real and pure emotion.
I have been touched by Walter’s determination and resolve. I always looked forward to “meeting” him weather in the mall or at the church or at a Tim Horton’s. Whenever I would meet Walter I always meet a man who was pleasant and excited about life. Our conversations were good and I always left Walter feeling better than when I met him. I was always impressed with his ability to be so pleasant even though he lived with his own pain and discomfort. You would never hear any of that from him. Walter lived with a love for life.
“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.” Those are the words of Flavia Weedn. They are appropriate to Walter. In Walter’s Case he sayed a good while. He did indeed left a footprint on the hearts of those he encountered. And now his journey continues. Now Walter starts another long walk, a marathon you might say. It is pain free, it is a joy and it is full of the brilliance of God’s light. Walter walks freely, taking in all of the sights, enjoying every single scene.
If you knew Walter White and you are near Windsor please join us on Monday to say farewell and live in the pure nature of our parting with him. It is not easy to say goodbye but we do so confident in the gift of the resurrection. Let us be there for Walter’s Family.