"Make sure that what you are doing and striving for is going to be worth any sacrifices you will have to make along the way. If it's a relationship, job, anything in life."

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sometimes Earth must lose so Heaven can win….

When I posted my weekend update a few months ago I told you all I had a funeral for a very dear friend.  Today I wanted to pay tribute to him and his amazing life.  Gary Omphroy left us October 30th 2012.  Gary leaves his 3 kids and wife, and many other family and friends that love him very much behind.  Gary was battling Pancreatic Cancer for about a year.  When he told the church we were all heavy hearted for we understood how unforgiving this form of Cancer is.  I met Gary and his family many years ago, we became good friends instantly.  As I grew up and became more of a senior advisor to the youth group I got to know and become close with his kids, Kyle and Keri.  As we grew older we had many events through the Church including Lock In’s we attended.  A few years later Gary and I joined the Church Vestry together.  I was just starting college and I was very nervous about the position.  Gary helped me adjust and become a valuable member of the team.  He made my time on vestry fun, knowledgeable and an overall wonderful experience.  He was one of the reasons I wasn’t nervous joining such a responsible position.

      When I became the Chairperson for the fundraising committee Gary went around with me to find different sponsors for events.  I can remember driving around with him and going to all different places to try to get food or money donated.  We had a blast driving around, talking about football and jazz.  Gary always greeted everyone with a smile and a handshake or hug.  Gary would brighten up your day no matter how down you were.  There were times we would have vestry meetings or youth group parties at the Omphroy’s home and both Gary and his wife Lyn would be there having fun with us.  Lyn is very involved with the church and I would always ask her where Gary was on Sunday’s if I didn’t see him with her.  She usually told me he went to the early service so he could get ready for football.  Talking football with Gary was one of my favorite things.  He loved the Jets and the Giants, asking him how the Bills were doing would always get him going.  My Dad is a big bills fan so Gary and I would always “raz” him about the game coming up that day or if they lost because of some mistake or something funny like that.   

      Gary impacted the Church and community to a level I can’t even put into words.  Everyone he spoke to and met would walk away happier, he touched everyone’s heart in such a special way.  Gary was at every fundraiser the Church had, he was setting up, cooking or cleaning up he, but he was there.  He never was to busy or said he couldn’t do something.  Gary always made time for the Church and the amazing people in it.  Gary was one of the many people that helped re-do the Church basement floor.  Many years ago it was painted and it started peeling.  Well the paint was just this horrible base that was so hard to get off.  We needed machines, and scrapers and a lot of muscle.  Gary and I were down there scraping and joking about breathing this stuff in…  He made me laugh as we joked about never painting this floor again.    

      When we found out Gary had cancer everyone prayed and got together to do anything we could to help.  We supported fundraisers and just were there to ask how he was feeling.  One day when he came back from Texas from a visit with a specialist, I took Quinn over and we spent sometime just saying hello.  We sat outside on his back deck and just enjoyed time with his family and Quinn laughed as he joked with her.  He was so good with Quinn, he would make her laugh as he said hello or gave he a high five.  We had a get well card for him and we just spent some time talking and laughing with Quinn.  I really think he loved our time and I really think it made a difference.  I know everyone has their own memory of Gary and I hope after this post you take some time to think about a story or memory you had with him.  If you are one of my readers that never met him I will say that Gary was just this amazing man that God gave to us. 

When Gary went into Sheppard home, a hospice house I knew it was only a matter of time.  He passed away a few days after the storm hit Rochester.  The thing about loosing someone is that yes we can’t see or talk to them but one of the hardest things is sometimes they go to fast and we never get to really say goodbye.  In the past several years I have lost some family and friends and most of them left without me saying good bye.  I find my self thinking about the last time we spoke or hugged.  It can be difficult and often very hard.  I knew I wouldn’t get to say goodbye to Gary and when he passed I felt my heart sink.  My family went to his wake and there were so many people there to support his family the line was out the door.  The next day we filled our church and had people sitting in the back.  My brother, father and I had to help park car’s literally everywhere that day.  It was so nice to see how many people came out to support the family and pay their respects. 

After we went to lunch, I picked up Quinn and we headed over.  She was so happy to see the Omphroy’s and Vicki and other people of the church and Gary’s family.  They really loved seeing her and she gave them all hugs.  I told Lyn that day at lunch that the night before I was rocking Quinn and I was thinking about Gary.  I told her I got emotional and Quinn asked what was wrong.  I told her I had a friend that was sick.  (I didn’t want to go into the talk about death yet.)  When I told her this, she started crying.  At first I was socked, she usually would say she felt bad and would pray for them.  I never say her get so sad.  I calmed her down and told her it was our friend Gary.  The nice man from Church we went and visited and who always greeted her.  I think she new, I really do.  I told her we will pray for him and his family and she agreed.  As the days passed I though about Gary and how he impacted my life.  I still often do…  Before we left the restaurant I sopped to talk to Gary’s brother.  I saw how he used his hands and expressions just like Gary did.  He even sounded like Gary when he laughed.  The two of them looked very alike and we joked about that.  For a second I saw Gary himself sitting next to me and I smiled for seeing the things that made me think of him warmed my heart.    I smiled for I had the chance to know him and spend time as his friend. 

Thinking about death is never easy, especially when the person is younger.  I am sad because I lost a dear friend but I know I will see him again and I know he will greet me in a better place.  When something like this happens I usually say that Earth loses so Heaven can win.  I say this because we had to lose an amazing man, a caring generous loving person so heaven can have him.  I know it’s not fair but we have to accept it and we have to think about living our lives.  It is what Gary would want from us.  I know he would be happy looking down as we joked about how he made us laugh and smile.  He was the kind of guy that would say it was going to be okay, and we will meet again.

We have to think about how one day we will all be reunited.  We do what we can in life, I know sometimes it’s not fair but if we look at what someone has done and the time we have had with them we have to be thankful.

I posted this late because I wanted to sit down and take my time on this post, I also was working on finding a picture of Gary and some of his friends at church but I couldn’t find anything that was on my computer and although I have pictures I was having trouble getting them put on the site.  I have a great picture in my living room of Gary, myself and a bunch of guys from Church.  We were doing a fundraiser and it always makes me smile…

Gary... You are in a place where we will someday all join you.  A place without fear, jealousy, anger, pain or sadness a place where you are at peace watching over us.  We do miss you and are sad you had to go, but we know you are keeping us safe and waiting for the day when we are all be together again.  Until then we will continue to live and go on strong for this is what you would want.  I look forward to seeing your smile, and giving you a big hug.  We will meet again my friend…

Always remember
You are never alone… 


No comments:

Post a Comment