When you are with these people, you bask. Not that words aren’t present. The words are behind the veil. As though you know there is discussion and chatter. But that doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that they are there. Their physical presence is next to you. And you miss it when they are gone.
My dad is one of those people. I’ve thought a lot lately about things we have done together. His tips on electronics when I was working on a model train set. His help in finding cars and suggestions of repair. His ability to do math and encourage me in it. His desire to be with us for our activities whenever he could.
But what sticks out is just sitting with him, or walking with him — being with him. That is life.
This past few weeks I’ve also experienced that with one of our former parishioners. John Graham passed away on a Monday. His funeral was on a Friday. A week later I was sitting in my office imagining the congregation on Sunday.
And John wasn’t there. And I missed him.