This week we said good bye to a dear dear friend of our family. We first met Ron not too long before he married Marlene, moved to our street, and became part of our church family. Ron was a man not easy to forget and I want to share just a few of the lasting impacts he made on a group of people in just a very short time – that we might all aspire to have such influence in the lives of those around us.
Ron was a big presence. A big guy with a big smile, a big laugh, and always looking to have a big time. He was a storyteller and we looked forward to hearing many more stories than we had a chance to hear. It wasn’t so many months ago that Ron discovered that he had contracted lymphoma. He battled it hard but it didn’t relent. We prayed and prayed for Ron, full of hope that the Lord would beat back this cancer and give us more time with our good friend.
It wasn’t to be. Just days before heading to the hospital this last time he was organizing a day of ice fishing for our group. You have to understand that Ron was a man who knew a lot about a lot of things and most of this through experience. And he loved nothing more than to be able to introduce others to the same joys that he had experienced himself. So having had a great time ice fishing with his grandkids the season before, he thought he’d take this group of mostly imports to Quebec on their first ice fishing excursion.
He had done the same thing for several of the guys in our group in October when he took us to our first Habs game. Though with Ron it was more than a game. It was an experience. We cooked and ate together beforehand, then drove and parked right next to the Bell Center because, of course Ron knew people. As we walked around inside we got to not only see the plaques with the history of the team and players but we got Ron’s own twist on each as well. It was amazing to think that this guy knew so much and his heart was bursting to share what he had with his friends.
One rainy fall evening Ron and Marlene took Shari and me out on a double date at a nice French restaurant by the river where we could enjoy some time just to get to know the two of them better. They had jumped right into the life of our city group and quickly become a blessing to all of us, even bringing others out to join us as well. Ron was a generous man. So excited to treat us all to our first Nanaimo bars, he sent a whole slew of them with Marlene on an evening when he wasn’t even able to come enjoy them himself. That’s Ron.
Ron drove for Uber, and one evening in our kitchen he told me about a gentleman whom he had driven that day who had actually invited him in for tea. Ron had pictures of himself and this stranger-made-friend in his beautiful downtown apartment overlooking the city! All because people are important and Ron was good at being with people. In less than six months Ron had became a fixture, not only in our home but in our hearts, and he managed to make a life-long impression on each of us.
Lord, we have entrusted Ron to you for so long now and in your loving care for him and his wife you brought him to be with you. We are so thankful to know that no matter how good Ron’s experience was in this life, it is only now becoming what it was always meant to be. I have no doubt that you are at this moment giving Ron new experiences and stories to tell so that he will be well prepared when we see him next. Thank you for loving and rescuing your son Ron.