This morning, Perry died. Ushered by God into a better place, yet we are still mindful of the loss.
Perry was a good friend for 41 years. We had probably met years prior (we both attended the same church when we were babies and toddlers).
In 1976 I moved to Kindersley, Saskatchewan to take up an assistant pastor position at the Kindersley Alliance Church. Perry, a year older than I, was an active member of the church. He was also a good fit for a new young pastor that needed encouragement, support and words of wisdom.
In the fall of 1976 I headed to Ontario to get married. Perry and a few friends decided to take vacation time (harvest was pretty well done) and travel the 1600 miles to witness the wedding.
For four years we worked together as friends, both in church work and as fellow journeymen on life’s path. I watched as he courted a young lady and officiated their wedding in 1980. Meanwhile, I returned to studies and ended up 25 years away from Kindersley.
Not that we didn’t converse. We did. Our children were close to the same ages. Our ventures to Kindersley were often at the “Graham Hotel.”
And then we returned to Kindersley in 2005 to pastor once again at the Kindersley Alliance Church. My first officiating of a wedding in my new/old place of ministry was for Perry’s son.
This past decade has seen shifts in both of our lives. In the end, we both retired about the same time. For me, Perry’s diagnosis of cancer was unwelcome news – I had looked forwards to coming years continuing to strengthen our friendship.
His last breath was this morning around 7:00 am.
I will greatly miss a friend, a spiritual mentor, a loving father, a devoted churchman, and a friend of God.
Rest well in God’s hands!