Goodbye, Ray

My friend Ray died this morning. It is so fitting that he died on the day that we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Ray was all about helping people realize the significance of having the Lord Jesus in their lives. He lived it and breathed it. Nothing was more important than serving Him by serving others, of helping them think about where they would spend eternity, of putting others’ needs ahead of his own.

During his illness, I never once heard him complain that he had been given a raw deal. In fact, just after getting his diagnosis in February, he told me – right from his hospital bed, still sore from surgery – that he was ready to go if it was the Lord’s will but that he was ready to keep serving Him if God determined that He wasn’t finished with him yet. Ray still had a lot of living – and serving – to do. And he kept doing it, even while he was sick.

I hadn’t seen Ray much in the past few weeks. He was out of state a lot for treatments, and I have had my hands full with a new job and a sick husband. But the last time I saw him, he still had his sense of humor, his kindness and his concern for Bruce, along with a big hug for me. Ray prayed for Bruce, even while he himself was seriously ill.

There will never be another one like him.

And it is fitting that He went home to Jesus on this day, Christmas Day.

We will miss you, Ray. We love you.


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7 thoughts on “Goodbye, Ray

  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 12:22 am

    yes, yes, yes…

    on labor day weekend, he played with my kids in his pool, diving in over and over and chasing them from one end to the other, laughing his head off. he was so loud, so fun, so strong.

    such great joy for him, such heartache for us.

  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 1:05 am

    my mother reminded me today what her cousin said on Christmas Day 1997, two days after my dad died. he said dad was having his best Christmas ever. so i guess ray is having his best Christmas, too. even though we are sad, he is not.

  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    Suzy and Bruce,
    I’m so sorry about what y’all are going through. I believe I’ve told y’all before that I had ulcerative colitis (some doctors thought it was Crohn’s) for almost 30 years. I had my colon removed in 2003 at the Cleveland Clinic and have been doing pretty well since then.

    I had the same surgery that Bruce just had back in 1992, so I know to some degree what he’s going through.

    If I can help y’all in any way, please let me know. I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but remember that the Lord has promised us that we are healed by the stripes of Jesus!!

    God bless both of you and I pray that you have a fabulous, completely healthy 2008.

    David Smith
    Business news section of the paper

  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    thank you, david. we think about you often. i pray for your health and well-being. it’s nice of you to think of us.

  • Friday, December 28, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    suzy, you have a gift for words that just leaves me speechless sometimes. ray was larger than life and i like to think he’s basking in the glory of the Father he so willingly served.

  • Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 3:01 am

    i like to think he’s found a spot where he’s singing and clapping, with the biggest smile on his face…always the first one to stand up and so heartfelt. every time. i can see him now….

  • Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    i told becky i’ll miss his clapping. and being the first one to stand up — i was thinking about that at the funeral, when taido was talking about ray’s spot being dimmer now.

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