“If you loved John Arends, you’re going to love this blog.” (A paraphrased quote from John.)
Woodmen Valley Chapel was full as we assembled to say good bye to a pillar of the Colorado Springs real estate community. I’d known him briefly–an associate in Springs Best networking group. Every Thursday morning at 7 over breakfast at The Olive Branch, a family of business associates assembled to support and enrich each others’ businesses. John and I exchanged pleasantries on a number of occasions.
It was a card he sent me, however, that truly endeared him to my heart. I’d had an article in the Gazette–front page of the Sunday Business section. Debbie Kelley had done a wonderful job of relaying my Generational Communication info. Carol Lawrence had snapped a great, sassy picture. I was delighted as my friends called to congratulate me.
John’s congratulations card arrived a few days later. He’d cut out the article, folded it nicely so my picture was on top, popped it into a card with a beautiful butterfly on the outside and a sentimental “perseverance” quote on the inside. Across the bottom he had scribbled, “Lindee, Nice ‘ink’! John”
The message was simple, unpretentious, articulately and artfully written. It was first class all the way–and sooo John Arends. It’s that optimistic, supportive, elegant presence that we will all miss most of all. He touched so many lives.
Thank goodness Pastor Matt Heard gave us all permission to laugh and cry, because that’s what we did for the next two and a half hours as friends and family shared stories of John with us. Stories of achieving greatness within the ranks of ReMax, awesome long-shot putts (“If you love golf, you’re going to love this putt.”), a spiritual quest after the loss of his daughter, dedication to his Girls–wife, daughters, and grand-daughters, and an appreciation of Colorado sunrises and sunsets–God’s reminder that all is right in the world. Even when one of us has slipped beyond it.
The sadness of John’s passing was summed up beautifully for me by his brother, Dale. He read a haiku written by John’s mother years before:
“Happy times are everywhere, it’s up to me to find them.”
Thank you, John Arends, for my renewed appreciation of an orange, pink, and purple sunset…and the legacy of words to live by. Happy times are everywhere…not only will I find them, but share them, and relish them.