Published June 16, 2009

Shelia Shares....
"Lost & Found"

At the funeral home visitation for my mother in April, a lovely young lady I had never met came by. I'm not good at ages, but she is probably around 40. Dad recognized her immediately. She and my dad were friends and he always called her "my girl." She came to offer him her sympathy.

It wasn't until the funeral visitation for my dad, that I heard how their unusual friendship started.

My dad was custodian at the Mio Schools (Mio, Michigan). It was summer and this lady – only a young child then – had just moved into the area. She and her mother came to see the school and Dad showed them around, including where her kindergarten class would be held.

When the first day of school came, the little girl (Theresa) entered the school building. But, she didn't know where to go. No longer were the halls full of desks like they had been during the summer. Instead, the halls were full of students, all knowing where to go. She was lost and alone.

Looking around for help, she saw one familiar face – my dad, the custodian. When he realized she was lost, he took her hand and walked with her to the kindergarten room at the end of the hall.

So started a friendship that lasted the rest of his lifetime.

As I spoke with this young lady at Dad's funeral visitation, she said she had never realized how much their friendship meant to Dad until Mom's funeral visitation (seven weeks earlier). Dad started telling the story of how they met and then my two brothers took turns completing it, showing how Dad thought so much of the girl that he had even shared the story with them.

With tears in our eyes, we talked about Dad being in heaven. We talked about joining him there some day.

I told Theresa that when she gets to heaven, if she gets confused on those streets of gold, just look for Dad. He's already there and just as he did on earth, he'll take her hand and lead her to Jesus.

We both smiled, knowing his Christian life and concern for a child had already been instrumental in starting her on the upward path to heaven.

- Shelia

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