To Larry's Family & Friends
from Laura

February 23, 1999

Larry and I were already very serious about each other when he learned that he had kidney disease in 1979. He was determined that it would not affect his enjoyment of life. He began dialysis treatments in the late Summer, and we married on December 16, 1979.

The renal ward chaplain, who became our good friend, counseled us and warned me that the life expectancy of a person with end stage renal disease was two to five years. As all of you who know Larry will understand, I wanted to be with him for whatever amount of time God allowed.

This coming Spring of 1999 it will be 20 years since he was diagnosed. I guess you could say we were living on borrowed time for many years, and I hoped we could borrow a little more, but I'm so thankful for the time we did have and for the strength that God gave Larry to endure everything with a cheerful spirit.

Throughout the years Larry has had more than 20 surgeries, including three kidney transplants. He survived on dialysis treatments during the years between transplants. He endured countless invasive tests and procedures, and experienced incredible pain for years at a time.

The kidney disease adversely affected nearly every system in Larry's body, but not his spirit. Larry called each new health problem "just a ripple in our pond". He insisted on knowing all the facts and the plan of action, and then he did whatever was necessary to manage the problem and get on with enjoying life.

Larry continued to work full time for most of the 20 years. He sang and played beautiful music on his guitar with his pickin' buddies. We traveled all over the country in our Blazer or on the motorcycle, first a Honda Gold Wing, then later the Harley he always dreamed of owning. Larry made life a joy for me, whether we were out "gallivanting" or just being "old Mr. & Mrs. Pitt at home", as he would say.

When we married, Larry stated we would never have cats in the house. Larry brought home the first two kittens himself, we found the second at a car dealership, then together we picked up two abandoned newborns that Larry raised on a bottle. At six months they are now twice as big as other kittens their age, thanks to Cat Daddy.

Larry had such a love for life, and such a gift for making people laugh. He never knew a stranger. He made me feel like the most loved woman in the world. He loved his children Holly & Derek, and his family and friends. Most important, Larry loved the Lord.

For the first time in many years, Larry is perfectly healthy and he is safe with Jesus. On the day Larry left this earth, a dear friend reminded me of a song: "What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see, And I look upon His face - the One who saved me by His grace. When He takes me by the hand and leads me through the Promised Land; What a day, glorious day that will be!"

The day Larry died felt like the worst day I had ever experienced, but it was the best day for him. It hurts to be left behind for now, but I know we will be reunited. My heart's desire, and I know Larry's too, is that everyone have this assurance.

I have dreaded this time for many years. God is holding me up, and I know he will get me through the days ahead, but this is more painful than I ever imagined. Larry and I had a good understanding of how important it was to appreciate each day together, but I wish now I had given him even more hugs and kisses. There are never too many.

Please examine your hearts and be mindful to appreciate every day you have with your loved ones. Don't wait to do and say the loving things you plan on doing when everything else is caught up. You're never going to get all caught up anyway, and before you know it 20 years can fly by.

I have run across some old "to do" lists, and laughed over the tasks I thought were so important at one time. Those things that never got completed didn't make any difference in the big picture. So put a very low priority on accumulating things and spending time on tasks, and put a very high priority on spending time hugging, kissing, and laughing with your loved ones.

About a year and a half ago, Larry and I were invited by friends to visit Calvary Baptist Church in Plainfield. We began to read God's word more than we ever had before. We discovered that the Bible contains priceless treasure.

Our lives were enriched immeasurably by reading and studying God's word, and by the friendship and love we have found in our church family. I'm so thankful that God lead us to this church, and strengthened our faith.

Thank you to all the people who prayed for us, brought food to the hospital, visited us, did our laundry, made phone calls for us - so many people held us up in so many ways.

I especially want to thank Rick, our wonderful neighbor, for keeping everyone updated on email, and for taking care of our cats while Holly and I were at the hospital for 17 days. Most important, Rick witnessed for Christ to more people than we will probably ever know.

We wanted to bring Larry home, but God knew what was best for Larry. I prayed for God to help Larry, and He did. My Sweetheart is healthy and happy now, and we have the certainty, through God's grace, that we will join him in paradise.

Just think what it must be like for Larry now to be pain free, and to be with his Dad, and Uncle William and Aunt Georgie, and my sister Beverly, and our nephew Tommy, and all the rest. What a glorious day that will be when our Savior's face we see, and we are all together again.