I have spent the last 6 weeks or so watching the struggle of life as it pushes against death. A friend (NF) was discovered to be in the last stages of cancer after an appointment with his doctor. I don’t use the term “doctor visit” because when you visit someone the company is usually desired and welcomed.

After the testing and consultations with experts in the field, a course of action was decided upon. Radiation, chemotherapy, medications, and a special diet. The course of action gave us all hope for more time. He passed on Mother’s Day in the wee hours of morning. He died in the hospital. Wife and children, and grands by his side. We funeralized him yesterday.

Unlike his immediate family, I had the opportunity to come home and enjoy a peaceful house. They had company until late evening. I listened to some of his favorite songs and reflected upon the first time my husband and I met NF and his wife.

One Sunday morning, another couple in our small church brought friends along. Everyone was introduced and we settled into our service beginning with Sunday School, devotional singing, and then the sermon. They were amazed and delighted that I played the bass guitar during devotion. My husband delivered the sermon with his usual way of invigorating the verses and involving the audience by asking questions with them supplying reasons and answers. The sermon was followed by the alter call and then, benediction. After the service, our guests stayed to let us know how much they enjoyed the service. That was almost 10 years ago. After that they were regulars at church, singing, reading scripture, teaching Sunday School, and proclaiming God’s glory!

In our 10 years of friendship (familyship) we shared many lunches, dinners, and visits. Getting to know each others family members and habits. Knowing how much love and devotion N and G had with each other, my heart breaks to know that she will have to adjust to living alone. She and her husband did almost everything together. You rarely saw one without the other.

Things about Nathaniel:

Favorite Verse: “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Favorite Songs: Lord, If I Got My Ticket, Can I Ride and I Surrender All along with many others . . .

Favorite Food: All of it

Favorite Saying: Anything worth having is worth asking for.

Nathaniel lived with determination and spirit. His zest for life was apparent in his words and in his walk. He was loving and giving, and his love of God was more than just lip-service.

Nathaniel collected and sold metal and other things for a living. He called himself (laughingly) a “junkman” but in reality he was a treasure hunter. Oh, the stories he could tell about his adventures with his wife backing up every story as the truth. We would laugh in joy and amazement at his adventures.

Our short dinners would usually go well past 2 hours as we ate and shared stories. Visits were more like sit-ins because nobody wanted to be the first to leave. Even at church, when the service was over, most of us would stand around talking every Sunday for another while.

Nathaniel was loved and will be missed.