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“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word,"

What a strange day yesterday. My husband and I went through the regular motions of getting 4 children to 2 schools and getting ourselves to work. I was talking to a customer on the phone and put her on hold to get an answer for her and my husband walked up and said, "My dad just died." I really thought I heard him wrong. He wore just a blank stare. I immediately got off the phone with the customer, grabbed my coat and we left for The Cumberland, a fabulous assisted living facility in Burton Hills.

We were told that at 8:30 when the cleaning lady went to change his sheets, he asked to sleep a little longer. At 10:30, he had died. Although he had diabetes since his childhood and had developed congestion heart failure and was blind in one eye and partially blind in another, he was living to the fullest and as happy as we'd seen him since his wife, Nancy, died 5 years ago. Since he had moved to The Cumberland, he had met many of the people and participated in almost every event. He looked and acted like a new person. One of the directors came up and told us that she had just taken many pictures of him because he had agreed to be a spokesperson for them. Sounds just like him.

Harlen loved to tell stories and had a southern drawl that could make a story last for half a dinner. He was a true gentleman. He loved his children and his grandchildren and loved spending time around people. He was a native Nashvillian, a MBA and Vanderbilt grad and spent his professional career as a banker. He always had a kind word and a smile. He will be missed no doubt.

I find the blessing of the child Jesus by Simeon so appropriate to wake to this morning. He has now let his servant go in peace. May his soul rest and may his daughters and son find comfort in faith and family and friends.
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