Monday, October 15, 2007
On Wednesday, October 10, 2007, Fran Crumpton's boy, Stan Adams, went to live with the Lord. Fran asked me to say a few words, which wound up being many words, at Stan's funeral on Saturday, October 13. And so I did. I've posted here what I said to Fran. The next post is the letter that I wrote to Stan. Please read and remember the good times that we had with Stan the Man Adams!
October 13, 2007
If you’ll excuse me for just a minute, I’d like to talk to my friend Fran before I reminisce a bit about our boy Stan. First of all, I bring you greetings, sympathy, love, and hugs from the Big Five of 1981: Wendy Young, Gus Krucke, Danny Stohl, Beth McLeod, and Earby Matheny, who is visiting Wendy right now with his wife and five children, and his mother-in-law. In fact, six of these people are staying at our house while we’re here with you.
Fran, you are an inspiration to everyone in this room. You always talk about others as being your role models, but you, my dear, are the consummate role model. During the thirty something years that we have been friends, you have lost both parents, your only two sisters-in-law, Stan’s father, Bob’s son, and then Bob. Through all of these losses, your faith has never wavered, you have comforted others when they were at a loss as to how to comfort you, and you smiled . . . sometimes with tears in your eyes, but nevertheless, we were cheered by that beautiful smile.
On Wednesday morning, Stan also went to be with the Lord. I’m sure you’ve asked, “Why, Lord? Why Stan? He was so young and had so much life still ahead of him.” Well, dear friend, you won’t get the answers to these questions in this lifetime. Someday we’ll approach Jesus with our list of questions, and these will be among yours. Right now, your heart is so broken that you may not be seeing any light at the end of the tunnel, but I’ll give you a little saying that the Lord gave to me right after Jay died, fifteen years ago. So many well-meaning people said to me, “How will you ever get over Jay’s death?” It was so clear to me. I replied, “It’s an English-teacher thing, a lesson in prepositions . . . we’ll never get over his death, but we’ll get through it.” And get through it we did because of our faith, our prayers and the prayers of others, and the love and nurturing of Christian friends like you, Fran. You, too, will get through this agonizing time with those same three things. We love you, Fran. Let us help you in your grief as we grieve along with you.
When Bob died, you asked me to say a few words at his funeral. I couldn’t refuse my friend Fran. As Frank and I drove home from the gathering at your house on the evening before the funeral, I was getting panicky. I still hadn’t figured out what I would say or how I would say it. Again, the Lord spoke to me and gave me the answer: “Write a letter to Bob. He’d like that, especially since you never wrote a letter to him while he was alive.” I knew when you asked me to speak today that I’d have to write to Stan, too. As I was preparing to compose my letter, a quotation came back to me. Every year in April or May, I’d write this quotation on the board so that my seniors could respond to it: “Nothing rattles like an empty mailbox.” My reason for giving this quotation to them was to encourage them to write to their parents when they went away to school. I thought it appropriate for you to have a letter right now because your mailbox may be rattling from the emptiness of not having Stan right here in person with you. This letter’s for you, my dear, dear friend.