I met with Erv Schmidt yesterday. That is always a pleasant experience. However, this time Erv wanted to discuss plans for his memorial service. Erv stated quite emphatically that although he feels fine, he tires easily. He misses his wife, June, and is looking forward to joining her in the not too distant future. Erv mentioned fondly his wonderful daughter Katie and son-in-law Bill; he is very thankful for all they do for him. He showed me his apartment including many pictures of family. Family has played and continues to play a very important role in Erv’s life – that is how it should be for each of us. Hanging over his dining table is a wedding picture of a very happy, attractive, and very young couple, Erv in his Navy Blue Jumper and his beautiful wife, June, in a very lovely hat. The picture was taken in April 1944. Erv was home on leave – between ships. The couple glows with youth, excitement, and happiness. Oh that we could capture time returning to an earlier and happier day. Oh that we could, like a picture, remain young. Of course, it is not to be! Time marches on! What was once young fades with time – including us. We are, however, blessed with memories of days gone by. In those memories, we are forever young as are those we remember and love. Although Erv misses his wife, June, and longs to join her, he recognize that life is precious and is a gift from God, meaning that life, all life, from conception to death, belongs to God. We live and die in accordance with God’s plan, a plan not (normally) shared with us. Erv has – here on earth – a loving family, many loving VFW Comrades, and other friends too numerous to mention. For those of us blessed by having Erv as a friend, we want him around awhile longer and know he still has much to give. What I always find most rewarding in my discussions with Erv is his unconditional trust in his Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Erv knows that Jesus has personally told him, though the Bible, that “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” There is no doubt in Erv’s mind that when the Lord calls, he will ‘return home; he will join his Lord and his beloved wife, June.
We hope that Erv remains with us for a long time. . We should each remember that every day is a gift –it is the ‘present’. May God Bless you and may God Bless Our Troops.