Greg loved baseball. He was a decent ballplayer but realized his potential was maxed as a lower minor league player so he gave up his dream and settled for a ‘normal’ life working in a career in the programming field…where I met him. I was the systems manager at the local Blood Institute and he was a shy giant of a man who loved baseball, KU basketball (we shared that love). We became quiet friends.
He helped me move once and watched my pets when I went on vacation. To understand that task, he lived about twenty-five miles away, one way. A good friend would do that. We played pranks on each other.
Time moves on and so do people. My wife passed on from cancer and I decided to take an offer from another company that paid more money with less stress. Greg followed me to the same company but probably due to his shyness, felt uncomfortable there. He left for a company in Missouri and was happy there. A couple of years passed and at the age of 48 he went to ER and was diagnosed with stomach cancer. As a good friend I went to visit him in the hospital in Joplin, Missouri. I got the KU basketball team to sign something special for him. I took him some funny items also.
Here is the kicker. Greg never was a church going person, never had been ‘saved’. When I saw him in the hospital we talked about many things, including God. Greg knew I was a Christian, that I had preached at churches and knowing his time was short, he took my hand and made a bedside confession of faith. I offered to give him the cross I wore around my neck. He refused and said he would get his own. I left my friend feeling many feelings, sad, fulfillment, contentment. I knew I would not see him again alive in this world. Our circle had been completed.
We had traveled in the past to his hometown in Missouri a few years earlier and Greg had shown me where he had grown up. He took me to his mother’s grave and I had helped him deal with his fear of hospitals and of dying. Later I took him to my hometown in Kansas and I showed him home. We were friends. That was our legacy. I was proud to help him cross over with a clean slate.
BJ Cassady [email protected]