Mondays with George

It was Monday about noon.  He didn't call - he just showed up and rang the doorbell.  Who does that anymore?  He must just be dropping something off.  Janice has probably made a pie for Frank to enjoy during recovery from surgery.  I opened the door - no pie... just George.

He gently smiled - you know the smile, the kind that says, 'I am aching with you, and I'm here'.  No words needed.  Frank had only been home from the first major back surgery for 3 days.  Pain seemed to ominously cloud each waking moment.  Conversations were brief, at best.  I had bravely accepted the role of guard and protector from all outside distractions.

Kindly, George asked to see Frank.

Oh, I don't think so.  You see, he's not talking much... trying to rest, gain strength... you understand.
Of course, he understood, but persisted with such tenderness... just want to sit with him for a few minutes.

I cautiously relinquished my post after announcing loudly to Frank of his coming visitor.  George marched right up the stairs and greeted Frank then quickly seated himself in the rocker by the bed.  Frank wasn't very mobile yet, so any rolling over to speak a greeting offered a grimace at best.
I excused myself and just hoped that Frank could muster enough energy for some semblance of conversation and any amount of hospitality.  George didn't need either.

An hour or so passed, as I heard George making his way down the steps.   Thanks for coming by... so very thoughtful of you; he hugged me as I asked about his visit.  We had a nice visit was his reply.

My heart was so full just at his thoughtfulness, his time, and his attentiveness to Frank and me... I wasn't surprised, of course, that's who he was.  So we continued the recovery process...

Fast forward... one week ... Monday about noon.  He didn't call - he just showed up and rang the doorbell - just wanted to check in on Frank... and up the stairs he went.

And so it began and so it continued... We were told Frank's recovery would continue for four months.  Every Monday... for weeks.. then months... Monday about noon.  He didn't call  he just showed up and rang the doorbell.

We affectionately called it "Mondays with George"... and it was a weekly event that was sacred and highly anticipated.  As Frank began to move around and eventually tried to work, Mondays with George sometimes moved to Tuesday at Panera, or Wednesday at Science Hill, or Thursday at a favorite Mexican place.  They laughed... They shared joys, sorrows, family accomplishments, prayers, seeming failures... They even shared their birthday and celebrated yearly with others for... I believe, somewhere around 15 years.

I would often ask Frank... "what does George say that is so encouraging to you?"  The answer was pondered, but often the response was the same,
 "He just listens well, loves well, and shares well."

Mondays with George began in 2004 and continued on in various forms as George fought well the battle of cancer over the past few years.  The victory over his cancer came last week as George showed up at the gate of Heaven... no doorbell to ring... just his sweet Savior, Jesus, welcoming him home.

George lived the definition of neighbor, of comforter, of counselor, of friend.  He's been compared to Barnabas numerous times, rightly so... he was such an encourager to all that knew him. He will be so deeply missed by all of us.  
Thank you George for teaching Frank (and me) what it takes to be a neighbor.... you simply show up, ring the doorbell, listen well, love well, and share well.. and maybe, just sit in the rocking chair by the bed.  I know George would humbly say he knew how to be a neighbor only because he chose to learn from the One who loved so much that HE was willing to die so all could come home to Heaven.

My command is this: 
 Love each other as I have loved you. 
 Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.
John 15:12-13


  1. “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,you were doing it to me!’

    Beautiful tribute. Love you!

  2. So beautiful. Such sincere love all around. Jill

  3. And... that, my friend, is the perfect description of George Dunn!

  4. So eloquently stated. Such a wonderful remembrance of a wonderful man.

  5. George was just the best. So thankful to have known him. We will miss him so.

  6. He made everyone feel as though they had his undivided attention. What a giving and generous person he was. I want to be like him when I grow up!

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  8. You are so right, Erin!!!! Frank and I say that all the time - if we could just be like George... and we can! He taught us well!