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Another funeral today: Eriq Neale

June 23, 2012

Today, I attended the funeral of a man for whom I had a great deal of respect.  A little less than two years ago he was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer.  This week, that cancer finished him off.

At his funeral today, I got a chance to hear more about his life, his friends, his family, his passions and his love.  It’s interesting to me that the tiny part of his life that I knew him for was such a small part of who he was.  In the almost 10 years I had known of his work and  had the benefit of his experience, I’d never gotten to know him personally, or gotten to know the rest of the much varied expanse of his passions or pleasures.  I was pretty disappointed that I had invested so little in the relationship that I had never known of these other sides of his life.

It was a great reminder to me that it is relationships and love that are some of the greatest rewards that God grants to us during our time here.  I am very fortunate to have a wife and family that loves me, and friends who have shared their lives with me at times when I’ve really needed it.  I hope that I have been as good a friend to them as they have been to me.

It also made me look at some of the career choices I’ve made.  I’d like to think that I’ve got the skills and talents to be making FAR more money than I am.  However, I’ve chosen this job because it gives me the flexibility to spend time with my family every day, to have the time to invest in relationships and to have enough time to pursue things like City Council.

As I have taken on this challenge, I have tried to remember that these issues are about people’s flexibility, their freedom.  Taxes destroy a families ability to chose best for themselves how to deploy the assets that they make.  Regulations impose someone else’s ideas and will on those without the ability to defend themselves from the force of government.  The level of tyranny that this country tolerates, that this municipality tolerates is disgusting to me.  I hope to stand against it as long as I am given the ability to do so.

If you are reading this blog, I hope that you’ll consider where you are in life.  Are you sacrificing time and love for money?  Are you gambling with the fate of your soul for “stuff”?  Is someone else raising your kids so you can work?  Are you sacrificing freedom for security?

The best thing about the memorial service for Eriq today?  He was a Christian.  His soul is at peace with God.  When you are gone, will someone close to you be able to say the same?

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