The Ones He Loved Most

The ones he loved most,
at the time,
even when he didn’t
realize it, at the time, departed

early on, not just abruptly
but instantaneously. Puff.
Never to return. That
could cause some consternation,

some pretty serious questioning
if not the desire to go puff, too.
So what to do?
One of those who flew

the coop, so to speak,
had told him that his family
was the church. His family
shattered after one of

the departures. He became
a minister. The church was.
He’s made it to old age
and he’s thankful for

those communities no
matter how conditional
the love in those places
(it served its purpose),

for the ministerial purpose
which helped keep him
alive, but he has moved
on and on and on and

now is just grateful for
the love that is in the
hearts of spouse,
children, friends

and he realizes that
that love is the love
of God known through
the ever-present

laughing and crying,
dying and rising
of the Christ he sees
in them all

and today it is
especially in the
really bad jokes
sent via e-mail

to help us cope —
by one of those
friends who called
and kept calling

long distance so
many, many years
ago just to help
keep him alive.

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