The older I get the more I appreciate humility. Not the intentional kind. The kind you can't manufacture. It's just there. The folks you like to stop and talk to, are usually the ones who have it. You can try to get them to talk about themselves but they can't. They turn every conversation around and point it away from themselves.
We had a neighbor couple who were that way. She's been gone a few years and her husband Lloyd has now joined her. His funeral is Thursday. They called and wanted me to be an honorary pall bearer. Having not heard the news, I was saddened.
I immediately got to thinking about how gracious, kind, unassuming, friendly, generous, and selfless these folks had been.
My Dad used to often say "As you get old, your bad traits will either disappear or get worse." I see it nearly everyday. The neatest, happiest, most lovely people I know are old. The meanest, most unhappy, and vengeful people I know are old.
As I fast approach 'old', things like the passing of plain, peaceable, ordinary, humble people who have been good neighbors and friends reminds me that I must try harder to be like them. To avoid complaining, to build up instead of constantly tearing down. Our country doesn't need anymore of that.
They didn't win an oscar, or take millions of dollars away from a big corporation in a trial. These are the truly great people of our society and somehow need to be replaced. They have taught us by example how to live life and how to leave the world better than they found it.
In these parts we say "They were good people". Well, Lloyd and his wife were indeed good people.
Lloyd's son and daughter in-law are still our neighbors and for that we are fortunate. They come from good stock.