I am thankful for the many people I have been blessed to call “friend.” My friend Gene, is perhaps the most senior of all of them. I have enjoyed countless cups of coffee, and Hardees biscuits with him. For a while he would stop by Cadence when we first opened, his brown bag from Hardees in one hand, and a coffee tumbler with his flavored cream from home in the other. I’d go sit with him and we would talk about life, faith, family, or just about anything at all. I’d have to jump up, and wait on a customer, but I would come back and we would pick back up, right where we left off. He’s a tall, strong gripped hand shake of a fellow. But his heart is soft and tender when he starts talking about his love for Jesus.
In recent years, he’s been quite ill, and his visits have tapered off, but our mutual love for each other hasn’t. He’s as much a friend today, as He was two years ago. He told me one time, that when he first met me, he didn’t like me all that much. He thought I was “a bit snobbish.” I was a bit shocked by his admission, at first, but then he told me, “I had you all wrong. I love you Shannon!”
I saw Gene today. He didn’t have a lot to say. He’s very ill. So ill, in fact, that the doctors have only given Gene a couple more days to live. We talked a little, and he told me again that he loved me and I got to pray for him. His wife Karen said, “He’s so ready to go on. He’s fought so much, and he’s tired.” I could see that was true. So as I left today, I thanked him again for being my friend, and told him that I would see him again. I asked him to save me a seat in heaven, and I would bring the biscuits this time. He said he would, and I believe he will, because he’s my friend Gene.