It would not be fair of me to kick off this blog with all these recipes, small adventures Shane and I go on, and stories about our lives, and not include a post about what most recently happened in our life. Shane and I are familiar with loss, he lost his mother to cancer, and I lost my infant son to something the doctors didn’t quite know how to label, so they decided on schizencephaly with a case of hydrocephalus. But last Sunday, we received a call in the evening that we lost his dear, close friend to a wreck.
Last week I personally went through waves of disbelief, heartache, and even anger at the thought of Shane having his best friend snatched from his life. This man who always had a smile to share, the quickest wit of anyone I know, and so much hope for the future as he was making plans with us, other friends, and my dear cousin Leah.
So much could be said about this time, and yet there is still just a level of disbelief and a loss for words. What I will leave you with is what I shared at the funeral.
My name is Catherine, I’m Shane Elser’s wife. You know, when we started dating, I would often describe Scott as our third wheel. In all reality, there were many times I was the third wheel, joining them on some outing where they were doing something they were passionate about. I never minded, because it was always such a joy to witness their friendship. Looking back now, I can say not only was it a joy, but an honor to get to see such a once-in-a-lifetime type of friendship that was so rich, so genuine, and so enduring.
I am going to say a few words for Shane…
“I think that we can all agree that Scott was someone that everyone just wanted to be around. There was never a dull moment with him. He was a friend that, when I needed something, he was there, when I planned something, he was never late, and when I got into something, he was the one beside me.
Everyone is asking me to tell a story about him or us and all the things we have done together in our lifetime, but I can’t pick one because we had so many, in fact, all of the good stories in my life have him in it, and some probably aren’t appropriate for this setting. I will share one though. I am not sure where we were at, but we were on a creek side somewhere fly fishing, which is when we were the most honest with each other; the big fish stories didn’t come out until we got home. Just him and I tying our flies on to start fishing, he stops what he is doing, looks around at the woods and the water and tells me, “The closest I feel to God is when I am in the woods or with a rod in my hands…” and then goes back to tying his fly. Well, after hearing that, I figured him and God were closer than we even were because his heart was in the woods and on the creek side.
I think I knew Scott better than anyone, and I know if he wanted to leave a legacy, it would simply be, do what you enjoy, love what you are doing, and have a good time doing it. I will speak for him when I say, whether your fly is in the water or in the tree, just remember where you are and make it a good time, because he always did.”
There aren’t enough words to describe how deeply Scott will be missed. Everything Shane did was with you, Scott. I hardly know a story from Shane’s childhood that doesn’t begin with with “Scott and I…” We know you’d never stop living life to the fullest, so we are going to try to live on, Scott, and carry on doing those things you loved in honor of you, out in God’s nature you loved so much.
Job 12:7-10 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
Scott was the friend that we had gone to the winter rendezvous with, and we had planned to go to many more together. When we went to his committal service, I said to Shane, “Rendezvous means meeting place right?” He said yes, so I told him that I wanted to wear my new rendezvous dress to the graveyard, as it would be the last meeting place we would be at until we meet again in heaven.
Thank goodness for the nice weather of this past weekend. We were able to get out on the lake with Shane’s brother and sister-in-law and just enjoy God’s creation like Scott would’ve. We didn’t catch anything, but the breath of fresh air, God’s air, filled our lungs and gave some peace.