Posted by: whereheisnotnamed | April 8, 2010

Sadness and Rejoicing

I just found out yesterday that a good friend of ours died recently. He was about 89 or so.

He was without a doubt one of the kindest people I have ever known. I was reflecting on my time of knowing him and thinking about how rare it is to meet someone who is such a gift from the Lord. Mr. Jackson was a gift to me.

I met him when I was 18. I was working as a cake decorator in a grocery store in the small town in which I grew up. He would push his cart by and smile and say hello as he went by. He would sometimes watch my cake decorating and we got to know each other a little.

I learned that he was a  wood worker and that he spent many of his days at the local school as a volunteer, teaching kids in shop class how to make beautiful things out of blocks of wood.

And he found out that I was working and putting myself through college. He saw something in me during a very dark time in my life. We became good friends and he began to periodically give me $20 here and $10 there to “help you through college.”

I kept in touch with him through the years as I had moved away and always visited him and his Phillipino wife whenever I went to visit my family. I was very excited for Nanda to meet them when we got married. Mr. Jackson read scripture to us and told us all kinds of funny rhymes which I could never remember. He encouraged us to follow our dream of ministering to people in Nepal.

Even in his 80’s, Mr. Jackson continued to teach kids wood working. He continued to make beautiful stringed instruments, checker boards, jewelry boxes, and various furniture and nick-nacks. I was excited to see his new creations when I visited.

He also, in his 80’s, made 2 trips a year to California. He would drive non-stop in his camper shell truck to visit his 2 children. He usually took people with him, someone who had family out there who was no longer able to drive and maybe couldn’t afford a plane.

He always reminded me that I was “one of his kids.”

Mr. Jackson, I will miss your inspiring, kind, and energetic spirit.  I am so happy when I am reminded that you are with our Lord and Savior, whom you loved so dearly. You truly were a gift to me.




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