THE JOURNEY I COULD NOT MAKEAug 4th, 2013 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog
Returning for 100th Anniversaries
The invitation came offering me the wonderful occasion to be a part of a congregation celebrating its 100th anniversary. Allowing for appropriate evaluation of my health conditions, it was concluded that making the trip and participating in the event could not happen this time. Of course, that means it would not ever be a possibility ever again.
The invitation came from a young man whose parents I had known well now almost fifty years ago and over a period of almost two decades. The church, an African American congregation in Omaha, Nebraska, had been my spiritual home while living in that city. It nurtured me, was the scene of our son’s baptism, encouraged my forays into the issues of mid 60′s and for another twenty years.
The invitation was honor enough. Being able to attend would have been icing on the cake. But, as life will sometimes have it, I simply could not make the trip and deliver the presence that I would want to give to that wonderful nurturing congregation.
That is one of the reasons you do all you can to savor life while you can. When ability and capability steal your greatest desires life offers, then you are aware how quickly the steps have taken you to a time and a space that limits your most ardent wishes.
The young man, now a gentleman of quality in extending the invitation, could not know how utterly moved I was to be asked. It was a chance to recall such extraordinary experiences and wonders of what had been a creatively magnificent moment in my life and career.
Gratitude for Being Held in Esteem
Somehow, however, he topped off the invitation with a testimony of his own, indicating I had been his mentor in his growing up, had offered him a perspective on life that he had held dear for these now many years. How breathlessly precious. How powerfully overwhelming. What a moment, to discover years later that you really did make a contribution, offer a difference.
Thank you, Alan Black. Thank you for summarizing what other tributes and plaques received over the years could not say. Thank you for allowing this human being to sense that his life had amounted to something. Thank you for breathing into me a sense that my presence had left its impression on you. But more importantly how that period of life had left its impression on me.
While I could not make it back for the anniversary, I have shared vicariously in its deep and significant meaning. For me, now, that is enough.