But this story is not about the photograph, nor the young teen. It isn't about the siblings huddled in the car. This, is about the driver and his wife. You see, the driver did this often. He and his sons came by the house to pick up this young teen and take him to one of the many Boy Scout meetings or events they shared together. It was out of his way, but he still came by, each week, to give this young man a ride.
He never complained or made the teen feel bad about not having a ride. He quietly provided inspirational leadership to a young man that so desperately needed to see beyond his station in life. He exposed the young man to an expanded world. His actions were a model of how a good father and husband interacted with his wife, sons and daughter. Through the many conversations that transpired during their short commute to the meetings, campouts, and hikes, this young teenager saw the positive effects of strong, male leadership.
Sometimes their journeys led them to this good man's house, where this young teen (and some of his own brothers and sisters) interacted with the man's family. And there, in the house there lived this remarkable lady. She was a determined, devoted, and loving mother, wife and professional. She deftly balanced the needs of her family with that of her career, without seemingly either suffering. And she was kind.
And so, when this former teen, now 56 learned of this man and his wife's passing, his heart ached. He had last seen them two years earlier, ironically, at a funeral. The man, Arvine, seemed so diminutive then, standing next to his wife, Doris. But they were both as sharp witted and animated as ever. And while talking to them, the former teen realized these weren't two helpless octogenarians in the twilight of their lives. He saw two vibrant, seniors, that felt they still had work to do.
On February 19, 2014, God decided to call Doris home. And probably after getting an earful and a lecture or two from Doris, less than a month later, on March 14, 2014 God decided to call her husband and partner, Arvine, home as well.
And so with consternation and sadness, the former young teen, now himself quickly barreling toward retirement, noted and mourned the passing of two remarkably beautiful people. But then he realized the brilliance and logic of the Lord. Because Doris and Arvine were a team. And you never, ever, break up a good team.
So once upon a time, in January of 1971, a good man, through the simple act of a ride, forever changed someone's life.