His soul was beautiful; it was kind. How do you know when you are in the presence of greatness? You will know you have been in the presence of greatness, when you walk away feeling empowered, instead of overpowered. You will know because they never had to say it, they showed it. Greatness is about living a life of honor and never having to tell anyone about it because your greatness radiates off of you.
March 17, 2008
Over time, I have come to understand that there are many people in this world who are unsung heroes. There is not particular reason that this story will come before others in the journey of my life, other than the fact that this hero, this great man, passed away yesterday. This is a story about a hero.
He was larger than life, and yet, the most approachable man I can think of. His name was HB and he was legendary in our town. Albuquerque, the biggest, small town you will ever visit. Not everyone knew him, this is true, but he was a larger than life hero among those who did. In particular, he was loved and admired by YMCA brat's. This man, this wonderful man, who gave of his time, his love, and yes, that almightly dollar.
HB gave generously to all who crossed his path. He never said an unkind word against others. He loved passionately and fervently. His wife was a blessed woman, for she was loved in a powerful way. He loved his community and everyone in it. There was a never a soul who crossed his path that he was unwilling to help. A man who started with little but grew businesses to acquire wealth, he gave generously to people in need, and was always down to earth. If you did not know of his wealth, you would think he was just another man on the block. He was not a proud or boastful man; he was humble, wise and good.
I often, as a single girl of 27, look around and wonder where all the good men are. Sometimes, in my more cynical moments, I think, "there simply are none." I know this is not true and one has to look no farther than the great men in my life. My pastor, who happens to be a great man, Ryan said recently in a sermon, "when a man dies, it is because his job is finished. He has done all that he needed to do." As I thought over this comment, I began to wonder, could that possibly be true? Is the death of a good man, a sign that he had no good left to give? The answer to my own question came back as a resounding, NO. Pastor Ryan never said that he had no good left to give, and it is my belief that when a man dies, it IS because his job here was done. It is not that he could not do more good, if given more time, because most certainly if HB or any great man had lived forever, his deeds would continue to grace the world in a beautiful way. It was suddenly clear to me, a great man has to give room for his legacy to grow in others. My godson, a child of 5, wise beyond his years, made a great friend in HB. He asked his mom, after learning of this great loss, "but Momma, if HB is gone, who is going to do all the good things he always did?" and she waited. He answered his own question, "I guess I will have to do it for him." Five-years-old, but profound and clearly living in HB's legacy. It was time for him to step back and let some other great man come into his own, or perhaps, many other great men. It is yet to be seen how many great men will come out of this man's path, but they are there. He planted the seeds, a great man and great role model.
My heart grieves the loss of the Great HB. Sorrow fell in my tears today. The wonderful part of grieving is, we feel great sorrow when we have known great love. My world will never be the same for having known HB. I will never be the same. I will look for opportunities to make the world a better place. We all have another angel in Heaven looking over us. The amazing thing is, HB could only help the people who crossed his path when he was here, but in heaven, he can watch over so many more. He is with his wife, Lucille today. May God's blessing be upon him, and all those who have loved him.
I count my soul blessed to have known him.
His name was HB.