Our church built a beautiful building. It was a blessing that we could even accomplish it. It was more than a blessing, it was a miracle. We were in an old historic building that was at the corner of Main and major crossroad. It is the corner of center of town. But the building was old. The only well built building was over 150 years old and had major issues. The rest of the buildings were less well built and issues don't even come close to explaining it. If we put the nurseries in the safe area, we had mothers, some of them pregnant and with small children, climbing three flights of stairs. If we put them on the main floor, the babies were in danger because the buildings were on the main road without lee way. The buildings were on the curb. An errant car could wreck into the building and crash into our nurseries. We had nightmares about it. And the fellowship halls, well, they were up on a third level. The older people, the weak and the handicapped couldn't attend fellowship functions. Add to this that the main bathrooms were either on the basement level or the third level. On the main level were only four small bathrooms, two each for men and women. Factor in malfunctioning heaters and AC and random vermin and you have an idea of what we were facing. So when the city came to us and offered us a phenomenal amount to sale and build elsewhere, we jumped. We were all into building a new building. We could use half of the proceeds to erase our debt. We could put aside an emergency fund to care for the needs of the community. But best of all, we could have a building fit for our needs that carried no debt with it. The collective knowledge of the community allowed us the knowledge to build the facilities to our specification. The new building is wonderful. We have a coffee shop, a fireplace, a half court basket ball court. Yes, the basket ball court is a drawing feature. When our bass player Les, and a member of the congregation decided to have a one on one game, well, it wasn't a big surprise. The surprise was that the bass player spent his last few minutes on the court in the new church. He made a perfect lay-up, and was on the floor before anyone turned to see him. The paramedics were there in seven minutes, but it only takes six to die of sudden cardiac death. Les was gone that fast. Our church has been in mourning. The church as a whole reacted appropriately. The memorial services have been meaningful.
But a funny thing has come from it. Several years ago when my cardiologist was chiding me for having gained so much weight, he told me that the excess weight could prolong my QT interval, I could die of sudden cardiac death. I looked at him and told him that it beat the hell out of cancer. He couldn't argue with me. He knew that I was speaking from personal experience that he had no personal knowledge of. Still, there is that thing in me that keeps clinging to life. Even though when I give my best effort to stay alive, I prefer to go home. But the crazy thing that I found out with Les' death is that I am not alone. Another member of the band, a lady who has two handicapped sons, let me know that she is looking forward to going home. But she isn't the only one. Sissy, who was recently left by her husband, and takes care of her mother said at a recent dinner that she wants to go home. The announcement was met with shock. Why would a healthy woman want to die? But I think that is where we are. We understand that we are needed here, but we long for the better country.