Over the past 9 months I have been through the experience of watching my dad decline from cancer and many other physical problems. On January 20 of this year my dad’s body finally gave out. We buried him a few days later. He was 66. Tough days.
I have been through many funerals at this point in my life for all of my grandparents and many other close friends. It is really a sad time every time, but there is something different about burying a parent. It definitely hit me in a different way than any other loss of a loved one I have had. My family was certainly together and there was comfort in the familiarity of family through the process. My wife and my kids were there through it all and that provided extreme comfort for me. There was comfort in numbers.
While I experienced comfort from my family I must admit that I experienced radical generosity during the weekend of my father’s death like I never dreamed of. My parents live almost two hours from my home. On Saturday we had a service at the church where they have been attending since moving there 6 years ago. We arrived at the church from the funeral home and as were entering into the church I saw a former assistant coach of mine and one of my former players standing there. I was floored! We hugged and briefly spoke prior to entering the sanctuary. My heart was warmed by their presence and memories of my coaching days.
As we moved into the sanctuary I saw many unfamiliar faces as expected but then I began to see men from my church; my good friends. I looked around a little and saw several of them and I became pretty emotional. I had to stop looking around and just look forward. The service was great and it was a great tribute to my dad. After the service we received everyone at the front of the sanctuary. There were many more people there than I expected, but the thing that got my attention was how many people were there specifically for Pam, the kids and me. No less than 20 people made the trip to pay their respects to my family and most had not even met my dad. Unbelievable.
We had services the following day in South Georgia where my dad coached most of his basketball. It was also a wonderful celebration of my dad’s life and I experienced having yet another one of my closest friends be there for me. 3 hours down there and 3 hours back in the same day. Unreal.
The generosity showed toward me and my family was overwhelming. That type of generosity comes from deep inside of people. You have to have a lifestyle of generosity and you have to live from your heart to do things like that. It is one thing to go across town or around the corner, but to travel like that on a weekend is above the normal acts of kindness. These actions crossed the line from kindness to radical generosity.
I am crazy thankful for friends who live a lifestyle of generosity.
Is this type of generosity learned or does it come naturally?