I just returned from attending the Memorial Service of a very special friend's Father. My friend, Kristi, blogs here. (This is Kristi on the right, with her papa, and her other sister to the left.)
I have to tell you that Kristi and I met at a local Mall. We were total strangers about 6 years ago when we went with our children to the mall that neither of us frequented. While taking a respite in the play area with our respective children, we met (by divine appointment), and became instant friends, so much so that we shuttled our children up the elevator to the food court(she only had two at the time, but now has four blessings!), and had lunch together. The best part about meeting Kristi was not just meeting a new friend, but meeting a sister in the Lord.
Over these last few years we've gotten together many many times with our families, shared meals, been to their family get-togethers, and have become just that, family. They always were so quick to include us in birthday parties for their children, and in fact, hosted my own surprise party when I turned forty-five. So, today, it was not a hard decision to make in deciding to travel an hour and 1/2 north to honor the life and memory of Larry William Price. He went home to be with Jesus on Christmas Eve.
Today, I learned a lot. I learned a lot about Mr. Price, and I learned more about my dear friend, Kristi.I learned that the apple truly does not fall far from the tree. Five minutes of reading Kristi's blog will reveal wit and humor that apparently has come right down the pipeline, atleast as far up as her Dad anyway. As a young man, Larry once feined being blind, cane, sunglasses and all, in order to get in free to a movie, a drive in, with friends. Pretty funny. Pretty clever. After all, he shouldn't have to pay if he can't see. On a different side, I also learned that Kristi's mother and father invited a family of six to live with them when Kristi and her sister were small. This was a family in between homes, (they worked for a rescue mission) and needed a place to stay. The Price family embraced them and welcomed them just like Kristi and her family did with us. I realized that Kristi's gift of welcoming was modeled by her mother and father. One of the most profound moments to me was when his childhood friend, an individual who confessed with his own words that he was not a person of faith, shared with us this: what and who everyone was saying Larry was in their lives; lover of God, lover of family, faithful to his wife, faithful to his church, honest, hard-working, humble,was who he was when those people were not around. When the walls were down, his friend testified, Larry was the same. There was no difference. There was no double standard, no hypocricy. I cannot think of a summary any better than that of what our lives ought to be to the world around us. My prayer is now that this man would come to know the Saviour of his soul. I hope it will come soon for him.
Mr. Price was a well-respected Nuclear Engineer. He was the first to receive a degree in Nuclear Engineering from Arizona State University. He was at the top in his field, in his faith, and in his family. Today he is with the Lord. Today, I love his daughter even more. I'm going to spend quite a bit more time thinking about everything I saw and heard today.