A little more than a week ago, I attended the visitation and funeral for my friend/father figure Frank Sanders, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at age 62.
About 13 months ago, just after learning of Frank's diagnosis, I went to visit the Woodbury church where he served as Pastor. I wanted to pray over him and let him know that I would think of him and pray for him daily until he was healed or until he received his great reward of eternity in Heaven.
As that service was wrapping up, Frank mentioned that he had recently ran into an elementary school classmate at a local Walgreen's. In a sad irony, Frank's former classmate, whom he had not seen in nearly fifty years, had also been diagnosed with cancer. As such, he asked that the congregation also pray for his long lost friend Donna Klingsporn, whom he invited to church that day.
Yes, I knew Donna. I was best friends with her son Chris from the time I was about 8 years old until age 15. So after the service I approached Donna, who indeed remembered me from the days of the Afton View Apartments. Many of the families which resided in that apartment complex were of the same plight. That is, school aged kids being raised by their single moms. I can think of maybe two guys in our circle of friends who even had consistent contact with their respective fathers.
Because our Moms served as the veritable rock in the family unit, we all held them up in high esteem in spite of displaying that typical teenaged impudence when Mom attempted to interact with us. Of course as we got older and a little more independent, we'd often lament how we didn't take to heart the sage advice that our Moms were willing to dispense. But why should we have listened? After all, as early teens we had it all figured out, right?
Inevitably, Chris and I began running in different circles once we got to high school until it got the point where we each became just another face in the crowd to each other. But one never forgets his first best friend. With that in mind, I extend my heartfelt prayers and condolences to my old pal Chris as he endures the loss of the rock in his life, his mom Donna M. Klingsporn. When I think of Chris, I think of my bud with whom I'd play catch or engage in heated contests on Atari 2600. Now I offer up the prayer that he finds peace and comfort which transcends all understanding.