Originally posted June 2, 2011, at A Constant State of Grace. Republished with permission of the author. This human life is an interesting adventure.
We are born helpless and ignorant, knowing little more than how to cry to get what we want.
If the people around us are fortunate, by the end of our lives, we’ve turned that scenario completely around, having learned to focus on the needs of others more than ourselves.
That’s what my Uncle Mike did.
Selfless love for others
Ever charming, witty, brilliant and caring, he gave himself away. Not just to his family and friends, but to everyone.
He gave himself away to people he’d known all his life and people he’d just met. He was a philanthropist but not just of money.
He gave away his connections and his time and his expertise. He gave his very self. He made friends everywhere.
He laid his life down because he understood his life wasn’t about him but about them. The world was graced because he lived.
And in the end, he taught us how to die. He was in tremendous pain, but he didn’t complain or become a recluse.
He stayed as connected as he could, right to the end. And he was upbeat; he said he didn’t want to make anyone cry.
Life was worth living, and he wanted to live every moment of it.
That’s also what Jesus taught. Love one another; lay your life down; bear fruit that will last.
I speculate there were 500 people at my Uncle Mike’s funeral. After the service, one woman said to me, “I have tools to give myself away, too. I’m going to make a start.”
Someone else said, “I don’t lay my life down for my friends, but I can change that.” And how many more? Who knows?
That’s fruit that will last.
Thanks for your life, your love and your legacy, Michael Ward. It is indeed a great day to be alive.
Find a link to Laura Holck’s entry on the blog A Constant State of Grace at Lutheran Blogs.