Yesterday I took the day off from work.
You see, about six years ago now, I was in a band. We had no name, but we played for worship services, Easter egg hunts, funerals, weddings, and almost any other church-related activity that needed music. We played Christian contemporary songs (think Stephen Curtis Chapman, Big Daddy Weave, etc.) as well as country, rock, rap (YES, RAP), and almost any other genre you could imagine.
It was hard work that required a lot of dedication. It was also some of the most fulfilling work I've ever done. We were a pretty close-knit group, sharing joys and sorrows with each other every week. We loved each other and what we did.
But one by one, the people who had been there the longest dropped out. Todd left for another church position. Laurie's father passed away. Mike's family moved to a different church. My mom died. And Kevin had health problems.
Kevin was a diabetic. He had problems with his heart that necessitated major surgery. His kidneys suffered. He used a scooter to get around instead of walking. He was in and out of the hospital so much that he didn't want to go back.
Last week, Kevin died.
His funeral was yesterday, and most of the old band members showed up to honor him. He will be remembered as a teddy bear of a man who spoke very little, loved playing bass, music of any kind, and diet Coke. Always the diet coke.
But most of all, he loved his family and his Lord.
Godspeed, Kevin. We'll miss you!