Yesterday my husband and I went to the memorial service of a dear man who lived a long and adventure filled life. He has been a part of my husband Jeff's life since he was a child. Larry was a man of science, a physicist who never lost his zeal for learning and was fascinated by the world that God has created for us all. Science just proved to him more and more that God does exist! After Larry retired, he decided to study Biology because he wanted to learn more about life. He kept studying into his 90's.
People shared their wonderful memories of Larry and how they were struck by his humor and his humbleness. Larry was a brilliant man who made huge contributions to science and held patents on several things. He was also part of the Manhattan Project and watched as the atomic bombs that he helped build to end WWII were dropped. He is the only person to have seen, with his own eyes, all 3 of those bombs detonate. Most people that met Larry had no clue that this brilliant scientist with the sparkle in his eye, love for God, quick sense of humor and willingness to help all those around him had anything to do with the Manhattan Project. He was humble and did not mention his many accomplishments unless asked about them.
Larry was also a family man. He loved his wife, children, grandchildren and the other people that were blessed to be a part of his life. He made time for camping trips, outings to the coast to explore tide pools, and loved to sit and exchange ideas with people. His son-in-laws shared about their early morning talks with Larry and how he could draw you in to a discussion about Intelligent Design with 2 sentences. :) His former students, who later became colleagues, recalled how Larry and his wonderful family took them in for meals and holidays and made them a part of their family for life. It seems that everyone was loved and welcomed at Larry and Millie's over the years.
At the end of the sharing of memories portion of the service, a letter that Larry wrote to everyone that was there was read. Larry knew that his time was coming to an end here but looked forward to the next chapter of his life in heaven. What struck me most was this last line...I hope that my wife knows that she was always first in my life. What a wonderful tribute to the woman that Larry loved and shared his life with for close to 70 years. Millie is indeed blessed and so was Larry to have her as his lifelong companion. Larry knew what was truly important and where his priorities were.
When your life here on earth has come to an end, what will they say about you?