It is impossible to write anything that measures my deep love for, admiration of, connection to, and influence by this man. Last night, as I left the hospital around midnight I told Brooke, "I pray he just slips away. Gently. Quickly."
That is exactly what happened.
Brooke called about 3:25am this morning saying Ronnie had gone. He went so gently it was as if the thin space between earth and heaven just opened up and took him. If there was a way to go that fit Ronnie...that was it. (The only thing better would have been if he'd had a golf club in hand)
Mom and I immediately hurried to the hospital to be with everyone. He was so peaceful. Our prayers had been answered. "Pop"/ "Ahbaba" had slipped from this life into the next.
After a bit of sleep, I began culling through photos. When I came upon this picture of my dad and Ronnie, my eyes began to leak. It was like I was seeing into heaven...the joyful reunion Ronnie and my dad must be having. (Ella had sweetly whispered in Ronnie's ear last Friday some messages to take to her Poppie.) Oh the joy!
I found some jewels for sure. One of my favorite memories of my parents and the Lorenzes is when they would turn on music and two step on our back porch. They all claim they had no rhythm, but it didn't seem to matter. This is one of my favorite pictures of Ronnie and Darla...so fun, so in love!
Then I remembered this one in our wedding album. I am so thankful we took this picture on our wedding day--even though I look like the biggest goob ever. I have no clue how my fashion sense could have gone on vacation the actual weekend I needed it most....
And here's one of my personal favorites...we made several trips through the years to New Braunfels together. They were always full of fun and great memories were made. Here are a couple of different group pics and Ronnie and his family going down the "chute"
And there are many, many more...too numerous to load. But some of my favorites are here...
This is blurry but it's Ronnie speaking and reading scripture at our wedding. The funny part was that he ended up reading the wrong scripture. :)
My dad and Ronnie acting like kids
My parents 25th Anniversary party
Ahbaba with Maddie
Ahbaba pushing Ella on the swing
Sweet, sweet family
Nanny and Ahbaba at our house in Nashville
Celebrating what WOULD have been my parent's 50th wedding anniversary
Nanny and Ahbaba
I feel so blessed to have had a second dad like Ronnie--for Sheryl to know and feel his influence, for my kids to feel loved and adored by him. This Saturday at 2pm we will have a celebration service remembering Ronnie and celebrating all he was to so many people. It's at Highland. I hope those of you who knew Ronnie can come celebrate with us.
I'll end with this quote by N. T. Wright which seems to fit Ronnie so well...
"The point of the resurrection...is that the present bodily life is not valueless because it will die...What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it. What you do in the present--by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself--will last into God's future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether. They are part of what we may call building for God's kingdom. "
~N. T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church