One of the points of wonderment in my life in this current year has been the reflecting back, while living forward. Without looking for them, people from 45+, 37, 29, 12 years ago (and many years inbetween) have reconnected. Some have been from moments I don't even remember (...old age setting in?).
This is Dianne and Rich Buhler. They are two who committed to pray every day...we didn't hold them to that. :-) But...we know they prayed often. Dianne still does. Three weeks ago Rich slipped through the "thin veil" three weeks ago last night via the vehicle of pancreatic cancer. Both of them have been good friends since our college days in the mid-60s.
This picture is taken in our living room early in Rich's diagnosis. They were visiting relatives in Colorado. That smile on Rich's face is part of what we will always remember. He was both friend and brother...remarkably gifted as a speaker, pastor, author and radio personality with a talk show that went coast to coast. He was also a loving husband, father, grandfather...and friend to many. His unique blog site, Truth or Fiction.Com, helped put to rest...or...tell the truth about urban legends and myths...this will continue.
Rich and I (and a host of others...good men, all) had the privilege of being part of a group that tagged ourselves "The Desert Fathers." Why? Because we got together early every January (many of us friends from way back in college days) for three days of sharing our hearts and the next chapters in our lives in the California desert. Though we didn't see each other often enough...this annual gathering became a sacred glue for our masculine souls.
I had the deep privilege of being best man in Rich's first wedding...100 days before ours. I also had the sacred privilege of performing their second wedding between he and Dianne several years ago. Their special, blended family totaled ten kids (3 hers, 7 his)...and, thus, numerous in-law kids and grandkids between them. What joy was theirs in these past years...!
..........there is more to this story as this week unfolds..........
I will tell you why that day will be different for me from here on out...