Chapter One

Three weeks ago, I sat across from two of my oldest and dearest friends at my parents’ kitchen island. We hugged and laughed and caught up after months apart.

Dick told me that he missed my writing. He said that he hoped I would pick it back up again. I promised I would when life slowed down. I promised I would when I had more time.

Dick went home to be with the Lord last Friday.

I’m writing again.

Because life isn’t slowing down.

Because I’ll never have more time.

Because my friend encouraged me to write.

I’m writing again, but, today, words feel so inadequate. This morning, we gathered to celebrate this sweet man. His family and friends shared their memories and we sang “Happy Trails” in his honor.

I have so many memories of my own.

Dick donned a toga and waved a palm leaf in honor of the “king” at my father’s 60th birthday.

He asked me to be his partner the last time we were at a Barn Dance together – and he didn’t mind at all that I wasn’t very good.

He made me the first Manhattan I ever tried.

He gave the best hugs.

He could always make me laugh.

And he taught me so much.

He taught me the proper way to chop wood.

He taught me to savor friendship.

He taught me that when you love someone, you tell them - a lesson I wish I had learned so much earlier.

He was more family than friend.

I loved him so much.

I'm rambling, I know. But, I am trying to find words worthy of this man and I'm coming up short.

C.S. Lewis closed The Chronicles of Narnia with the most beautiful – and, perhaps, the most comforting – words for a Christian faced with the loss of a brother. Dick was well-acquainted with my love for C.S. Lewis, so I don't doubt that he would patiently indulge me.

“And for us, this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read; which goes on forever; in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

I hold to the promise that, one day, we’ll step into that greatest of adventures alongside you. But, until then, my dear friend, we will miss you. And we will love you always.