I’ve been in ministry for many years so one would think saying goodbye is something I find easy. It’s not. One facebook status I posted said “I’ve spent my life leaving people I love so that I can love people I have not met yet.” Today, several days after the funeral of a precious man, Don Peterson, I wan’t to dedicate this blog to him.
I remember the moment I met Don. We invited his wife Norma to take some pictures for us at church on Easter, 2011. Don came with her to assist. Guess he got more than he bargained for because he spent most of his time helping us find a child we thought was lost. We still chuckle at that one.
Don was always a joy to be around. Friendly. Kind. Helpful. Interesting. Fun to name a few.
At the beginning of last summer my youngest son wanted to plant a garden. Aaron is a hard worker but even I wondered how long it would take him to prepare the hard dirt for planting as he worked on his hands and knees. Don drove by and saw him and took it upon himself to mentor Aaron to have the best garden he had ever seen. He showed him how to till the ground, plant seed and plants and tie them up, water, weed, etc. This was not a one day event for Don and my son but a daily job. Aaron loved it. He asked Don questions and soaked up every bit of information given. One morning Aaron had slept in a little and when he got outside Don had already been working in the garden for a while. This experience may seem like a small thing to some, but to Aaron and his family it was (and always will be) a big deal. Aaron connected to Don and always felt a special fondness toward him because of what they shared.
The Sunday before Don had his stroke we had such a nice conversation. I walked away feeling more energized and appreciative after connecting with him. As I left him my thought was “that Don & Norma are such a joy to connect with.”
At Don’s funeral I learned more about Don through his brother-in-law and son when they shared. My respect for him grew higher and I wished my family had been able to spend more time with him.
As I think about Don Peterson I am grateful that God put him in our lives. Living away from grandparents and family in Illinois can sometimes be difficult but the Lord has been so gracious to put people like Don in our lives.
Thanks Don for your ministry to us. We look forward to seeing you in Heaven.