I'm missing people.
In recent years I have eulogized my wife's father's funeral as well as her mother's funeral this past January. This weekend I will do the funeral service for my mother-in law-from my first marriage. My first wife died in 2002.
My mother and father have passed on, along with all of my aunts and uncles, with the exception of one living aunt -Lucille. This reminds me that I hope to see her at the family reunion in May.
Recently my sister's daughter who lived beside my Kentucky home passed, after a lifelong battle with diabetes, at the age of 53.
One of my dear friends died a couple of years ago from cancer and another dear friend is apparently suffering from dementia and unable to communicate much anymore. I miss laughing with these guys. I keep trying to make new friends. However it seems like my old friends are dying off quicker than I can make new friends.
I miss my childhood pastor who used to brag on me and always had a good word. I missed an old paper editor who brought me into the fold and mentored my writing. Of course they are both dead now.
I miss my high school basketball coach who was a star player himself. He was so gifted at cussing us out at halftime and telling us everything we had done with the basketball except actually playing with it. He also knew how to extend a compliment, encourage and point out the good that he saw in others and me. I miss that guy.
When I go to my old home church the people I see now are a handful of people who are about my age. There is the exception of Mug and Ilene. They seemed like old people when I was a kid and the last time I was in church on a Wednesday night they were there in attendance. Ilene used to pick me up for church and Mug did some nice things for me as well. I hope I see them for a long, long time.
And then there is Miss Southard. I was her pastor fifteen years ago. My wife and I go to see her ever couple of months. She is filled with vigor and personality. At the age of 95 she still drives, gardens and greets at church. She is independent and has lived in her home for the last fifty or so years. She is filled with gladness and kindness. She never misses a beat to embrace us. Love us and say good things to us both.
We were driving from Baltimore, Maryland to Charleston, West Virginia today and we were somewhat amazed by our drive. One guy made a point of pulling in front of us and slamming on his brakes. I guess we hadn't been driving fast enough in the fast lane for him but 76 mph was more than we should have been going. Another guy was coming up the exit ramp and I couldn't pull over to give him all the room he wanted so he just started honking and giving me the finger. This reminded me of my five mile stretch of highway that I drive a lot in Indiana where I get the finger a couple of times a week from our kind motorists in our beloved Hoosier state.
Sadly kindness is just not in vogue today it seems and I don't like it. I still can't believe that elected political people did not have the decency and human kindness to stand up for the widow of slain Navy Seal Carryn Owens at President Trump's address to Congress on February 28. Regardless of your politics and however you view Trump's reasoning there should be respect for the slain Navy Seal, Ryan Owens, his widow Carryn Owens and all those who serve and have served.
A lot of leadership people today are teaching us how to act and live. More and more it's all about trash talk, rude comments and crude behavior toward others. If we want kids across America to show some respect to each other and demonstrate kindness to others then it must be jumpstarted anew and afresh by the big people who are seen and heard throughout our country.
I miss a lot of people from days of old who have passed on. I am especially missing those who knew and understood kindness and how to treat others. So is most of America. I know there are millions of kind people still in America. They just need to stand up.
Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books. He is read in all 50 states. Visit www.glennmollette.com
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