But we will miss him – his sense of humor, his unflappable steadiness, his laugh, his quiet dependability, his unfading Philly fanaticism.
He's gone, but we haven't lost him – you can't lose someone if you know where they are. And we know. We surely know.
And that comforts us, sort of, that, and picturing Fred he and his fellow electrician/dad Don strolling "that side" together, no doubt marveling at the new and improved lighting options, the unparalleled luminescence of a City where there is no night and the Father is Light and Source of all light.
They now know much better than we do, that those who walk in darkness, through the Valley of Deepest Darkness, do not walk alone and do indeed walk through to a home of glorious, unfading light.
But he was only fifty, which of course for most of us seems younger than it used to. We're nearly there, or we remember being there recently, or we can barely remember...
so it seems too soon. We are prompted to pause and reconsider our expectations of our own "length of days."
And for the next generation, those who still think of fifty as old, it may be important to consider that Fred didn't know, when he was twenty-five years old, that he was already halfway home; he didn't realize at forty that he had lived eighty percent of his allotted days.
And we don't know our alloted days either, not one of us.
- to hold family ties in high regard,
-to laugh often with those we love,
-to serve with faithfulness in our Kingdom business,
...so that when our days are ended we can joyfully join Fred and his father and our Creator Father God who is light and in whom there is no darkness at all.