The First Week of Spring 

We heard this first week of spring that death visited three folks we had known: an acquaintance from our church, a good friend of Doug’s, and a former high school acquaintance of mine.    

Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. ~John Donne

Our condolences we offer to their family and friends; they surely feel the loss of such genuinely good folks.

And so do we!

How They Influenced Us

I hope these sketches convey  — honor— their faithfulness. That was a big influencer!

Our acquaintance from church  — Richard Young —modeled grace under pressure, caring for his ailing wife and staying active in his family’s life, albeit with his own list of ailments.

Doug’s friend and mine spoke to us decades ago of “spiritual” ideas; at the time neither of us  were  interested.  But I like to think they prayed for us— if only it was Oh Lord have mercy!

For He did. [Memo to self: When in doubt: pray!]

Doug met his friend Ron Stock when he was in the Air Force and his friend was in the Army. Ron was a groomsman at our wedding.  

They stayed in touch at Christmas; more frequently when Doug learned Ron’s wife of half a century died and then Ron was diagnosed with with Parkinson’s disease. Ron relied upon the Lord, and told us so.

We learned of his death when a card Doug mailed him was returned with a grim note: deceased. 

the first week of spring

Whoa — did you just hear a bell ring?!

That was kind of a shock. 

I met my friend, Gail Conlin Permison Cosby in high school. She tried sharing her faith. But I was a hard sell; mocking and dismissive. Such a hard sell was I that when we met decades later at a class reunion, she was wary as I  headed toward her to tell her Christ had caught me up. 

We became better acquainted through Facebook, and it was there I learned  of her death — and then saw her memorial service on YouTube.  

One of her son’s said her advice was always Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you . . . (James 4:8 )

In these upside down crazy times, it’s a good plan. 


“This humility and willingness to give up control of your life is impossible to produce without God’s help.” ― Timothy J. Keller, Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter


 Meanwhile, right-living people die
and no one gives them a thought.
God-fearing people are carted off
and no one even notices.
The right-living people are out of their misery,
they’re finally at rest.
They lived well and with dignity
and now they’re finally at peace. (Isaiah 57:1-2)

20 Quotes from Tim Keller on Resurrection Hope 

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