The Good in Being Kind.
At Roger Potter's funeral Saturday in the Port Chilkoot Bible Church we sang old fashioned hymns, "What a Friend we Have in Jesus," "I'll Fly Away," and of course, "Amazing Grace." (Read his obituary here.) But before the service started we listened to a recording of the be-boppy Hawaiian version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Roger may have lived in a log cabin in Alaska and worked as a longshoreman on the docks, but he liked to spend time on the beaches of Hilo. He was a faithful guy, too. Before she died a few years ago he took his mother Bonnie to church every Sunday. As is the custom, Pastor Sage Thomas opened up the floor for comments. Dick said he'd miss seeing Roger, a big man, drive by in his little rattletrap truck, "and whatever duct tape or bumper sticker was holding it together." Adrian said her children benefited from her neighbor's mentoring. He hired her son to do some work and was his first employer, she said. "He had incredible compassion and a fine balance of work ethics and a happy groove." Judy liked talking to Roger when he was tying up ships and she was checking their paperwork for customs. Joanie said she'd slow down when she saw Roger and his crew at the dock and sing them the Men at Work "YMCA" song and Roger would do the little dance and laugh. It all got me thinking how there are people you see, at the post office, or the grocery store, or coffee shop or just driving by in their funny little trucks, who wave and smile, and who you may not have had over for dinner-- they may not be in your inner family or close friends circle-- but who make your life better, and who, when you think about it, you do know well, because when they die your life is poorer because of their absence. Maybe that's why Roger's funeral was standing room only. One thing the pastor said which is worth repeating, since we are supposed to learn from each life and death, is that Roger was above all a kind person. "One time he said to me, 'You know how sometimes when you get in a group, and a name comes up, and someone says something negative, and it can all go that way? Well, if you say a couple of kind words about that person you can turn the whole conversation around."
The leaflet from Roger's service, with my notes.