I have the privilege of attending a life celebration of a man who has accumulated great rewards during his journey thru life. It is these rewards that helped him to pass away peacefully and provided some comfort for his family.
His life journey has not been captured by ESPN, Travel Channel or Readers Digest. The life he lived was not awe inspiring, death defying or miraculous. He did not collect a bunch of medals, awards, trophies or plaques from local dignitaries.
The rewards this man has accumulated are numerous and worth more than money, precious stones or gold.
The rewards this man has accumulated are real, yet he is able to take them with him to his grave.
The rewards this gentleman has accumulate thru his life can not be boxed up and put into storage.
The rewards this man has collected do not lay around the house needing regular dusting or shifting to make room for the next great reward.
The rewards this man accumulated are not listed on anyone’s bucket list. And, unlike a wrestlers trophy belt, these rewards can not be taken away by another.
You see, he passed away knowing that the rewards he accumulated are stored in the hearts of all those he touched through out his life.
His wife, his brother, his daughters and son-in-laws. His grand children, his nieces and nephews, his neighbors and many others.
He knew these rewards existed. Not that he could touch them or see their shiny chrome and jewels, but because he felt them from the support, help, compassion and care that many shared with him.
My last conversation with this man clearly told me he knew he had been bestowed these rewards.
As we sat in his home, laughing and talking into the night, he indirectly and repeatedly asked one question. To me, I could tell that he was not asking a question, but instead sharing with us that he knew of the rewards he had accumulated.
“I have a Great Family.” Each time he made this statement, in the form of a question. Yet, I could see in his eyes that he was making a statement, not asking a question. He knew that his family was the main source of his greatest reward in life.
He received this reward from his wife thru all that she did for him.
He received this reward from his daughters from all they did for him over the years and up unto the last moments of his life.
His son-in-laws and grandchildren bestowed this reward on him thru the tireless help, care and happiness they gave him freely.
He received this reward from the dog who stayed by his side thru his final days.
He received this reward from his brother in part thru the numerous compassionate conversations only brothers can share.
He was proud to receive this reward from his many friends and neighbors.
He knew that these rewards were real and for him to keep, because they were bestowed upon him with no strings attached.
Despite this man taking these rewards with him, they are still visible in the smiles, the tears, the laughter, stories and memories that he leaves behind with his family.
He has been bestowed these rewards because he cared, he gave, and he loved. He did not seek these rewards.
He received these rewards from many who participated in the life of the man who only sought to be, the best husband, father, brother, neighbor and friend a person can be.
For this, he received in return Love, the greatest of rewards.
Love is not a reward you seek, but one that is bestowed upon you when you give it freely.
This reward provides peace to those it is shared with when someone you love passes on.
Love, and you will receive the greatest of rewards.