Friday, August 26, 2011

A Tribute To My Dear Friend

A couple of days ago, I received an email that my dear friend, Gordon, had been called home to be with the Lord. I am still trying to process it. He and his wife have been true friends of 20 years. I am really grateful that his family gave all of us who loved him a chance to visit him in hospice to say goodbye and tell him that we loved him.

My dear friend was a true American hero. He and his family had been placed in the camps for the Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor. He had also been held as a POW at the infamous Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War. Yet throughout his life he remained one of the most positive people you could meet. Heaven has a bright new cheerful angel. Earth does not seem the same without him.

Here is his favorite poem. His parents hung a copy of it when they were detained in the Japanese camps. He always had a copy of it hanging in his home. Those of us who were close to him, were always given a copy of it, particularly as we went through difficult circumstances.

If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!


Cindy said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family of your friend. I certainly believe that he is in a better place, but that doesn't ease our earthly pain.

Enjoy the memories.

April Mechelle said...

I am so sorry Patti. Prayers for you ane his family.