These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

don french

linda continues to be the bearer of bad news. gotta love my little sissy.

she told me don french died monday. the name may mean nothing to most people but to us, don was a lifesaver during a time of crisis.

don was the pastor who came to our aid when dad was dying. he came as part of hospice. he'd come in i'd say the ;ast month or so of dad's life and sat with him and talked to him and mom.

but don was more than just someone who talked to you. he cared about the people he helped out.

i am personally indebted to don for something that i don't think would have been able to be done if it wasn't for him. before i went to see dad as he diede, i wrote dad a letter, not knowing if he'd die before i got a chance to see him. no one could read it. but don did. he read the letter to dad. i understand it took someone not emotionally connected to the family and the death to do it, but i feel he did a great service to me and dad for reading it.

then hours after dad died, he came out from alice to the ranch, a 40-minute drive, near midnight, to be there with us and comfort us. he did a little prayer with us and helped us through that immediate time that was so hard. he also spent time with ricky and rena right after dad died. it was something they needed. he played a game with them and showed them a magic trick. he may them feel better at a time of pain.

don died monday. he died of cancer in the spinal cord. his cancer was in remission for some time before it returned. it was something none of us knew about don. but then again, that was his business and why should he tell us about his personal life when it was us going through the crisis.

the local paper, the alice echo news-journal (where i previously worked), wrote an article about him. i'm glad the paper did. it's people like don french that need remembering in this world. they are unselfish and caring. he was 57. what a loss to the community at large. thanks for everything, don. god bless you.