I have debated whether or not I should blog about this and what I would say.
What do you say at a time like this? I really didn't want this to happen, nobody really does.
Our family friend of over 20 years passed away today after a 6 month battle with stomach cancer. Gary was only 56. I am not really sure what to say to the family. I will tell them I am sorry and I am praying for them, but what really should a person say. Or not say. Maybe it's a hug they need, how do we know?
We first met The Jefferson Family when we moved into town when Kelsey and I were 8 years old. We instantly became friends with their daughter, Tonya. We started playing tether ball outside of their house and soon after that, our parents became just as good as friends as us girls. My dad and Gary coached us in basketball. What a pair they were. They are hard nosed, but what great dads and coaches.
My dad and Gary are best friends. Gary and my dad, well I am not sure how to explain it, they are just a perfect pair! They crack me up. They give each other such a hard time, all of the time, they banter back and forth like an old married couple, it's quite comical.
Who does my dad call most of time? GARY!
Who does my dad like to watch ball games with? GARY!
Who goes fishing with my dad and Kaeden? GARY!
Who does my dad go for a drive with? GARY!
Who puts up with my dad? GARY!
Who can be a better best friend for my dad other than Gary? NO ONE!
Kaeden has really gotten to know Gary because he is with my dad so much. We haven't told the kids yet. We will tonight, but it will be hard on all of them. The kids made a stepping stone for Gary for Christmas. The stepping stone has a fish on it, Kaeden picked it out! We didn't get it done in time to give it to him. We finished it on Monday, but Gary was already sleeping by then. We will give it to his wife, Brenda and she can enjoy it. The kids were really excited to give it to him, so these little things will be hard.
Shawn and I became pregnant with Kaeden before we got married, but when my parents threw a party for everyone to meet Shawn (because we were living in Florida at the time) Gary accepted Shawn into our family/friendship circle with open arms. Gary was so nice and generous. Gary was Shawn's best man in our wedding. Gary means so much to us, to our family! He is family!
The picture above is the last picture of my kids and Gary. It was obviously taken on Halloween. We always made over to his house for Halloween since Kaeden was a baby!
I was listening to a song yesterday on the radio and it was something about this world we live is only a resting place until we get to Heaven. It's so true. Gary is without pain and living with Jesus now, forever! We will get to see him again, we just have to wait!
WE WILL MISS YOU GARY!