George Is Gone

I did not notice until Jonny the Jew asked me if I had heard from George. I looked at my phone, which I’ve had for five months, and George is not in the phone. Then it hit me, George is gone.

George was my boss. As chaplain in Middleton, he was in charge of the Protestant services and I was in charge of the music. George was much more than a boss, he provided spiritual direction. He also provided food. There’s an old saying in the zoo, “Don’t feed the animals.” At least in the zoo, I think the keepers feed the animals, and certainly the food is better than the grade F meat in Middleton. George went against the rules, but some rules need to be broken.


I continued to see George for a while after I got out. He tried having a monthly bible study for a while. Then he finally got fired from Middleton, apparently he went against one too many rules. But he got a job right away preaching in Nursing homes, and once again I was able to provide music for him. I did that for three months until I left Massachusetts for good. Then George gave me a memorable gift, my first guitar.


I talked to George several times from Virginia, and tried to get him to come down to officiate the wedding. It didn’t work out. Now, as Kerri and I approach our first anniversary, I’m realizing that George is not in my life. Kerri says it works that way sometimes. I’m reminded about a priest, Fr. Kevin, that I met at Christmas in 1991. He helped when we found out the Sarah had Spina Bifida in February 1992. He visited her in the hospital after she was born in August. As her first birthday approached, we wanted Kevin to baptize Sarah, and that’s when I realized Kevin was gone, never to be heard from again.


God works that way sometimes. He sends his angels to help us through the toughest times in life. Sometimes we never get to say good-bye or really than them for all that they did. Sometimes they just fade away.


Good-bye George. Thanks for everything.


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