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Farewell, Earl

February 2, 2013

Earl, as I’ll always remember him.

“Farewell” is a term I am typically uncomfortable uttering. To me, the connotation of the phrase has a heavy degree of finality. It’s said only when there is nothing else to say, except that you hope the other person fares well because you won’t be able to witness it happen.

Last night I received word that a young friend had passed away – succumbing to injuries from an auto accident. Earl was someone I knew since he was a kid, he was in the youth group of the church that I used to serve at. But his life on Earth ended at the age of 19 yesterday… he didn’t even get to grow out of his teen years.

I’m not going to pretend that I was close to Earl. I left that church years ago and my contact with him has been limited. It had been well over a year since the last time I spoke with him. But I will tell you he was the kind of kid that made it easy to want to Love him, although it wasn’t always easy to do so. Earl always seemed to be looking for something, though I’m not exactly sure what.  And it was that search that brought him through a lot of ups and downs and led him in various directions, for better or for worse.

His passing is a grim reminder that we can’t ever truly control how long we live, only how well we do so. For me, it is a reminder to Live and Love hard, with no reservations. The opportunities to do so aren’t guaranteed for tomorrow…

From what I hear, Earl, as a young man, was just beginning to find his way in this life. But after all is said an done, he’s survived by a family who must now learn to live without him and I can only imagine how heartbroken they are.

I guess I’m not really sure if Earl ever quite found what he was looking for here… but now I pray that he has found his way Home.

Farewell, Earl.

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