On Sunday, my friend Emily lost her Dad. Well, not really, cause we all know exactly where he is at. John was his name, and he was a great man. Occassionally you have people in your life that are your family regardless of the fact that they aren't related and John was family to me. I wanna write about John today because he made me proud and he deserves a post.
John and his family have not had it easy. In 1993 his wife Carolyn died of breast cancer, Emily was 9 with two older brothers. I think most people would be a mess at the loss of their spouse, especially when there are 3 little kids left to raise on your own. John never let this be a burdeon, never let it shake his faith. In fact, the evening she died, with all the family together in his kitchen, John asked to lead everyone in prayer and the first thing he did was thank the Lord for blessing he and Carolyn with 22 years together. I don't know if I could do that. But John could. Three years ago John was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Doctors gave him three months. He lived 3 years. A few months ago, another tumor appeared.
John was a great example of what a parent should be, what a Christian should be. He was a kind, forgiving, gentle, involved, patient man. I remember all the times I would stay at their house and 1 night would turn into 2. He never complained about the noise, always took us out for dinner, treated me like a special guest and a daughter at the same time. I always appreciated that. I think it's rare to find people that love you like family when you're not.
I've been fortunate to see John and to be around him in the year since I've moved home. He came in as a patient a few times. I would stop in and chat with him at his store in town. I also looked into buying a couple properties from him. I spent an evening looking at all the units and we sat and talked business after we were done. John told me about the path he took to get where he was. Made some suggestions about finances, told me to talk to my dad about all of it, then finished by telling me he was proud of me. I told my best frined that, and she had similar experiences to share. She told me when she got suspended for drinking on a school trip, the first thing John did wasn't to scold, wasn't to lecture, he held her by both shoulders told her he was still proud of her and that he loved her. Both of us had this happen a few times, John always made you feel built up. He really did. For Courtney, John has been and will be an example of faith that she didn't have in her family. For me, John is an example of balance and persistance. He reminded me to work hard, but never lose track of what's actually important, my faith and my family.
I will miss John, I really will. Even though I didn't see him everyday and I had lost track of the friendship his daughter and I once had, I always thought about him everytime I drove past one of his buildings or the local church he donated a building to. I am sad for John's family, I'm sad that he is gone, but I am so happy for John. He got to see his daughter married, his grandchildren born. He had 3 happy years of borrowed time and now he is restored to health and reunited with his wife. I can't ask for much more than that. Hopefully when you have some free time, you will think about the John Nohren in your life and will take the time to write him or her a letter so they know what they mean to you. My letter I had to give to Emily, but I think John already knew anyway.
11 hours ago