This Good Man

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This good man
~who has left us behind~

whose farm-hardened hands
wielded not only heavy hammers
but cradled a trembling wee bird.

This good man
~who has left us behind~

raised many a calf and chick
and a plethora of pups and piglets
and enough canaries to fill a thousand homes with song.

This good man
~who left us behind~

whose gentle smile
and generous heart
volunteered thousands of hours of selfless service.

This good man
~who has left us behind~

who raised no children himself
yet loved and nurtured a slew of nieces and nephews,
keeping track of every single one.

This good man
~who has left us behind~

who plowed and planted,
harvested and gathered
and saved and gave and gave and gave.

This good man
~who has left us behind~

who dressed for the farm every day
yet changed his jeans and tee shirt and muck boots
each week to Sunday’s best button-down shirt and sweater.

This good man
~who has left us behind~

is the only man to ever have owned both
a church organ in his front room
and a gold FireBird Trans Am in his back shed.

This good man
~who has left us behind~

has shown us the way to follow Him:

by his faithful service
by his love for the land
by his love for the garden
by his love for his animals
by his love for his family and friends
by his love for his church
by his love for the Lord.

This good man~
This good and humble man~
This good and humble and gentle man~

has gone down the lane ahead of us a bit
and will be waiting for us around the bend,
watching and waiting, waiting and watching,
keeping vigil until he can
someday see us coming on the horizon
and beckon us in and welcome us home.

driveway

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john
Uncle John Smit

14 thoughts on “This Good Man

  1. I am so sorry for your loss, Emily. I know what it is to lose a precious uncle. — Sharon

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  2. Ohhh, tears at reading this beautiful, moving post. We are, today, remembering the loss of a brother exactly one year ago. Perhaps he and your uncle are meeting and enjoying fellowship of a new and more wonderful kind now.

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  3. We met Uncle John a few times when we came to your home for dinner after church. I was glad to meet him. He brought you eggs and apples. He appreciated your medical interest, concern, and care. I appreciated your kind heart to him and he was always appreciate of the dinner and fellowship. What a wonderful poem. It describes him. May he rest in Peace as he is with the Lord Jesus.

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  4. I’m so sorry for your loss Emily. What a beautiful tribute to your uncle, this good man that gave and gave and gave. So much love.

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  5. What a beautiful tribute. I continue to love everything you write. Happy summer! Best, Heather Hejmanowski

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  6. Emily, Thank you so much for using your gift with words to capture as best as is possible, the life and character of Uncle John and sharing that with us.

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