August 3, 2008

A dying wish

My brother was able to fulfill a man's dying wish last week.

Seven years ago, one of our retired volunteers was hospitalized for serious heart issues and wasn't expected to live very long.

Then back in March, he was told that he had a week or two left to live. Bud was older and his heart was weak, but it was still sad for all of us to hear. He kept saying, "I think they're wrong. I feel fine." He lived longer than the doctor's expected, but this time it was the beginning of a slow decline.

When April came and he was still alive, he and his wife started talking about how they might actually have time to do the things that he wanted to do before he died. He got back on the tractor at camp again, he saw all of his kids . . . but he really wanted to fly. He started taking flying lessons when he was a teenager, but never had a chance to finish. His dream was to fly again.

Is it a coincidence that one of our lifeguards is also a licensed pilot?

Last week, in a most fragile state, Bud was granted his wish. Kyle and my brother drove to Willow Run, picked up a plane and flew to Hillsdale. Jeff picked Bud up at the airport there and flew him to Coldwater, over camp and all around. There wasn't a dry eye on the ground as we watched the plane circle over the camp.

About two months ago, he was using his walker to make his way over to the Trading Post. As I passed him I jokingly said, "Hey Bud . . . are you trying to make a getaway?" He responded by saying, "For over a month now!"

Bud went to be with Jesus on Thursday . . . having taken advantage of every last minute life on earth that God gave him.


Kristy said...

What a great story!

Anonymous said...


Sorry to hear about Bud, but what a great testimony.


Simply Me... said...

Awww how sweet is that! Thank You so much for sharing your story, if we could all live life that way!


Kevin Eccles said...

This is simultaneously the best and worst monday ever...

Anonymous said...

How thoughtful! And very cool!