I wish I could write something eloquent. I wish we had more pictures, but I felt so close to you that I thought it’d be weird to take out a picture and say “CHEESE”. I saw you every week, more often than that usually. You weren’t the best clerical organizer. You sucked at organization in your office, but you knew were stuff was- most of the time. I loved being your intern- just because it meant watching you do ministry. You loved your kids, and you loved your wife. You honored marriage to a level that I hadn’t seen before. You knew what your gifts and talents were, and after the first year of youth group with you, I think I agreed to never take another spiritual gift test. You knew what it was like to "be real”, although I judged you in the beginning and thought you “being real” was trying to “be cool”. I thought you were like everybody else, until I realized you just wanted to know everybody else. You looked absolutely ridiculous making an idiot of yourself, but you seemed to enjoy doing so, and loved making the people around you laugh.
I do remember you when you were sick, but that makes me sad. I try to remember when you were healthy instead. I do remember the last evening you were alive, you prayed for the RCYM group for one last time… we were all praying for you, and yet again you did something contradictory to what we would expect- the dying man prayed for us. You made everybody cry. We knew you loved us. I wonder if a part of you was already in heaven. I have to think that because of the peace you had, and gave, that you were partially already there. I remember talking to you about heaven. I remember explaining what heaven was like to J in the gift shop when I was walking with him & M downstairs to let Mrs. Pastor Ed have some alone time with you. He asked me, like he normally asked his questions, out of the blue. I held back my tears and said in my most confident voice that it was better than Disneyland, and had a racetrack. He thought the race track was the coolest thing about heaven- and was beyond excited for you. I think he envied you- and that pains me. I wish I could have that peace sometimes. Sometimes I do, but sometimes I am just selfish and miss you.
Sometimes I think it’s weird how much you come into my mind. We didn’t have an extraordinarily close relationship. I respected you a lot. I went to you for counseling, wisdom, jokes, relationship advice, life advice, Christ advice… you were available, approachable, and knew how to make anyone’s heart lighter. But what makes me smile the most is when I realize how many other people had just as close of a relationship with you. You made everyone feel like they were the most important person in the world- every time you spoke to them, looked into their eyes, and would say corny things like, “I value you”. We would laugh at your corny-ness, but we believed you, and your statements of truth were refreshing. I don’t know anyone who talks like that anymore. Right now I feel too tired to be one of those people, but perhaps I can aspire. The truth is that today, Ed, I feel drained. I am really drained and I miss you. I remember this day last year asking my best friend when it was going to get easier. When would I remember you and not feel like the memories were so real, so recent? But now some of those memories are fading. Today I called Paula Deen to ask her what the annoying saying was that you said all the time. In the beginning we made fun of you for it. In the end, we were saying it and laughing, but we all knew what it meant, and we all knew it was something you started. When the phone was ringing I remembered, and then smiled, “Catch you offline Ed”. I don’t want to forget you. When I check out Facebook and see the pictures of J & M and the updates Mrs. Pastor Ed gives, I realize you wouldn’t let that happen. You won’t let yourself be forgotten. Or maybe God just won’t let us forget you, because the kids won’t let that happen.
So hear it goes- I miss you. Everybody does. But thank you for living the life you did. Thank you for honoring Mrs. Pastor Ed. Thank you for being the kind of Dad you chose to be. Thank you for not bad-mouthing people, even when they didn’t treat you right. Thank you for choosing to go against the grain, not because you wanted to draw attention, but because that’s the life that God chose you to live. Thank you for making time for me when you didn’t have any. Thank you for making time for my family. Thank you for making me feel like you’re proud of me now, as I’m a Mom and a wife. I wish you could have married us. I love you. We all do, and I’m so grateful for how you lived your life loving Christ. I love Christ more because of what you taught me.
Pastor Ed ~ May 4, 1971 - April 15, 2009