When I was about 10 I met a man who lived down the street from me. His name was Mr. Jung. Mr Jung (pronounced Young) was one of the coolest guys I had ever met. He had at least five old classic cars. His backyard was amazing. He had built bogs and had all kinds of different plants growing, all linked to a water system he had built. He had a shed that housed all different kinds of fish (including a pirannah, that thing was creepy). Everytime I saw him he would quiz me on my multiplication tables. He cultivated the already instilled desire to learn. He was also a man of God. When I look back on that time in my life, I am blessed to see that God put that man in my life when he did. Today, I found out that Mr. Jung passed away from a long battle with cancer. I learned from reading his obituary that he had been an elementary school teacher for over 30 years. Just think of how many lives he touched over that period of time.
While part of me grieves that he world has lost such a great man, the other part of me is blessed to have known him. Earlier today I read a quote from Dr. Seuss that helped me put loss in a good perspective:
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."
Today I smile because a man named Mr. Jung walked into my life. And though I hadn't seen him in years, he left an unmistakeable imprint on my life. For that I am thankful.