I was on my way home from work today when I could have sworn I saw Eldon. I saw him from the back. A small statured man with a shock of silver hair holding a sign, asking for money. And then I thought, "no way, Eldon never holds a sign and he works whenever he can." And then, I remembered, Eldon passed away last March.
Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
He was a kind man with a sweet heart. I thought he was in his 70s but he was only in his 50s. I think the fact that he had no teeth made him look older than he was. And he had a hard life, with no family around to help out. We would see him around town often. He would always ask for a few bucks for coffee and then ask if we knew about any work he could do. Once we saw him walking to church and picked him up. He was pretty consistant in church attendance. Last year he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Yes, he smoked, and no, he didn't quit. The chemo was really hard on him. He wasn't healthy to begin with and he seemed to get more and more frail every time we saw him. The last time we saw him was at Safeway. We bought him a coffee and a Starbucks gift card. He seemed too weak to stand but didn't want anything except the coffee. The next thing we heard he was hospitalized. The Deacons visited him and he was talking about getting out and finding work. And then, he was gone.
I don't want to forget him. Do any of you Flagstaff peeps have a good memory of Eldon? If you do, please leave a comment. I would love to read your memory.