by Kevin Chan –
I walked into the coffee shop at Territorial Headquarters on Tuesday and placed my lunch inside the refrigerator. As usual, I went to get a cup of hot water for my morning tea, and noticed that Fred was not there.
Afterwards, I asked a woman in the coffee shop, “Where is Fred?” She looked at me strangely and said, “Fred passed away on Sunday. He had a heart attack.” Then, she said, “You must not have been here yesterday.” Hesitatingly, I told her “I was out sick.”
Immediately, I felt sad; I felt like something vital was missing from my life. It was difficult for me to accept the reality that Fred was no longer here.
Fred worked for The Salvation Army in the coffee shop before his death, and he was the one I talked to during my daily routines. Just a week ago, a boundary was created between us. He is in heaven now and is far from me. As of this day, I can see Fred’s smiling face in my memory. I feel as if I lost my morning companion who I talked with each day before my hot tea. It was peaceful to hear his cheerful voice; Fred was down-to-earth and always in good spirits.
I became very cranky the entire morning. As a result, I was completely quiet and told a co-worker to stay away from me, and only talk to me when it was necessary. I know that I was rude to him; somehow, it is better to be quiet once in awhile.
I made an apology to my co-worker later that day. I miss Fred. We all miss him at THQ.
Captain Howard Tanovan
by Captain Cathi Boyd
I went to a bon voyage for a friend today. It was a grand celebration, including all the things my friend loved best. Family and friends gathered from across the country and overseas, sharing tears and laughter and hugs–lots of hugs. We sang all of his favorite songs and read his favorite Scriptures.
Family, friends, coworkers and other dear ones joined in sharing memories and spoke with love and admiration of the life of Christian service this man lived daily. We praised his optimism, his joyful spirit, and his indefatigable enthusiasm for sharing his Lord Jesus with everyone he met.
And there was food. Lots of food prepared by loving hands seeking to say “thank you” to a man who always gave of himself. It was with great reluctance that we bade our friend a safe journey and parted company.
Tears stung my eyes as I drove home. How unfair it seems that my friend, Captain Howard Tanovan, who loves a good party, had missed one of the best ever thrown in his honor. Does he know how many people love him? Does he know how much his life counted for Jesus Christ? Why, I wondered, do we wait until someone has passed to Glory to send them flowers and share our hearts?
Thank you, Howard. Thank you for your life, your service. Thank you for this reminder that I need to hold the ones I love a little closer. I need to be freer with my words of praise. I need to give the people who are impacting my life flowers today, while they can still smell the fragrance and know that I appreciate them.