Tuesday, August 18, 2009
For the second time this summer I've unexpectedly lost a friend to a heart attack. Sunday evening my daughter called and asked me if I'd heard that Bruce died. She had received a text from a friend asking for prayers for her friend Zach because his dad had died. I made a few calls to mutual friends, but nobody else had heard about it either, so I began to hope that it was a strange rumor or a silly prank between the kids. It couldn’t be true - he was too healthy and too young to have died. Besides, I had seen Bruce that morning. He made a funny comment before leading the closing prayer at church and it seemed too impossible and too awful to be true. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Bruce had a massive heart attack Sunday afternoon. He had been rushed to the heart hospital, but the doctors were unable to save his life.
Bruce truly made the world a better place. I first remember him in college - the handsome jock who was dating the cute cheerleader. I got to know Bruce and Terry personally after college when we all attended the same church, worshiping and raising our families together, and more recently when he was our Bible school class chairman. He was a fixture - always there; always smiling; always contributing. Through the years, and the struggles I grew to appreciate Bruce and Terry. Just like the rest of us, they had challenges, but they were courageous enough to take off their masks and be real and I always enjoyed talking to both of them when I had the chance. We live in the same neighborhood and our paths seemed to cross a lot - they were coming as we were going or vice versa. Bruce would smile and wave; always taking the time to reach out, to smile, to make people feel welcomed and included.
He was good.
He was an encourager.
Tomorrow is Bruce’s funeral service and I will be there with literally hundreds of other people whose lives he touched in the same way.
He will be missed.
The world needs more Bruces.