A friend died recently and as sad as that is my heart is aching for another reason. The United States was his adopted home, far away from his place of birth, a place where left behind family would struggle for survival if not for the remittance that he would send. His life was defined by service for these loved ones – a high service indeed.
His life is testament to the sacrifices millions of people around the world make for loved ones who live so far away that even occasional visits are impossible.
Ty got very sick a year ago and as I prayed for his recovery, I prayed that when he got well he would decide that it was time to end his sixteen-year separation from his family. When we spoke of this later, he told me it was too soon to return home for he was only 40. My heart ached then as it does today.
Ty’s family was fortunate for his selfless love and personal sacrifice. Those who received his organs were luckier still.
It is often said that the most lasting thing we leave behind when we die is the imprint of our love. Ty’s imprint is deep and indelible. Those whose lives he touched with his love and compassion will cherish those gifts. Indeed, they are the hallmark of the life he shared too briefly with all of us – a life in service to others.
Our acts of love and compassion ripple out for a long time after our initial action. In Ty’s case, his acts of love and compassion will impact others for countless years and touch an unknown number of lives.
His life has left me wondering, will I be able to live up to the beautiful example he set? I will try my best . . .