Remember Truman, the gentleman I wrote to last year who passed away before he could read my card? His brother, Ralph, a lovely man in his late 80's, is equally wonderful.... and this time I'm not going to delay my words until it's too late.
So often we take people for granted. We assume they know our thoughts and feel our appreciation. We seldom stop to say, "You are valued", "Thanks so much", "I'm grateful for all you do".
I look out my window at school and see you pushing a mower around the yard, even though the temperatures rise with every passing moment. When I drive through town I watch as you work around the neighborhood. At church, games and activities, there you are, always ready to support and help. Yet, I know that for everything I see, there are countless of unseen acts of kindness where you are at the helm. I see the respect in the eyes of others when they speak to you and of you, and I realize that I am privy to greatness in action.
It is the quiet, gentle people that speak the loudest to me; those who expect no fanfare, but quietly do good because it is in their very nautre.
You are such a person; one who not only brightens the corner where you are, but lights the entire room. You touch lives with your kindness and grace and speak volumes with your caring heart. It would be difficult to find a man with more class and true concern for his neighbors, and I am honored to share this community with you. Actions do speak louder than words and yours are a living scripture of God's message to love one another.
I think these things each time I see you, but loving thoughts are useless unless they are shared. And for every thought I have expressed I know there are many who echo it.
So Ralph, please know that you are valued and appreciated, and that so many are grateful for all that you do. Your life is a blessing and testament, and an example for the rest of us to follow.
How rich we all are to share this journey with you.
(August 2006 - post date)