Thursday, July 16, 2009

In Memory of John

If we are lucky in this life, we will cross paths with many wonderful and knowledgeable people who will enrich our lives with their presence. One of those people I had the pleasure of knowing was John Lafayette Carder.

From the time I was a small child, John had been in my life. He was my Grandfather Hartsock's neighbor, on the neighboring farm. Both farms had once belonged to my 2nd Great Grandfather, Thomas Ruby, handed down to his son, George Kifer, then to George's sister, Mizouri Hartsock.

John had told me this, as he had looked it all up. John was good at getting the history on my family, and I loved to listen to him tell of people's lives and the places around me.

Everyone in the area knew John, as he traveled much on the road, usually walking. I remember once picking him up in my souped up 1967 Le Mans. I hope I didn't scare him too much! But John was my friend, I respected his ways. He used to love in these later years to come to my house and we'd sit outside by my horses and talk over stuff -- anything. He just loved my Buckskin horse and would tell me of the horses his Daddy had way back when or of ones my Pap had. I will forever miss this.

This quiet gentle man never hurt anyone, never seemed to have a bad word for anyone, and faced his illness and oncoming death with grace and dignity. He loved his Lord and Savior, prayed through the pain, and still thought of others. We all could have learned a lot from him. We still can. He lived a simple yet full life, without the frills we all seem to demand, and he found a way to stay sane and fully content in this crazy world.

So John--- this is my Tribute to you. I wish you could have seen this before, but maybe through the Grace of God you CAN see it now, and maybe others who see this will think twice before they say an unkind word, or look down upon someone, and that will be YOUR legacy carried on...................

I received a letter from my Dad's cousin, Wreatha Nixon Brill in Florida, when she saw the tribute to John. She went to school with him, as they were neighbors growing up. Here is an excerpt from that letter:

Dear Becci,
I was so happy that my sister Betty sent a copy of this beautiful tribute of John. I was thinking of what I could do, and this helped me to decide. Thanks for bringing out the REAL John in such a special way so true.
Love, Wreatha

Years ago, I lived over the hill and down in the valley from John's house, and of course I went to Oldtown School. John had moved up a grade in school, and sat next to me in Mr. McLays Algebra class. We were sometimes allowed to have a candy or sucker in this class, it helped us learn better!!! But, if Mr. Reiter (Principal) came in, we would kinda hide it.

He usually came in the front door and we could see him. One day, we were right at work, like good students, and enjoying our suckers, when John said, "Wreatha, here comes Mr. Reiter!" I looked, saw no Mr. Reiter, and kept on with my lollipop! John said, "No, the back door;" and with that, Mr. Reiter was walking in and I almost fell off my chair! John was doubled over laughing.
Every time, in later years, I would come home from Florida to visit, John would ALWAYS walk up to my brother's home (miles up the road from his house) to visit me and we'd laugh about the lollipop! We'd discuss the good old school days, the World situations, and go down to the cemetery and visit all the memories of the years. John was a kind of SPECIAL being.
My regrets to his family and EVERYONE
God Bless,
Wreatha Nixon Brill.

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