Dick Green (no relation) died on Monday morning. He was not that old.
He had been feeling fine until around Christmas. His family can recall knowing that something was not quite right just after new years. By the first full week in January, he was in the hospital ICU with a diagnosis of end stage pancreatic cancer.
Last week he made it home from the hospital on Hospice care. Knowing that he had only days to live, his daughter got married in their living room on Saturday so that he could be there for the occasion. The wedding was arranged within 5 days. Fire-engine-red bridesmaids' dresses, and groomsmen's matching shirts and ties were what they could get off the rack at Penny's. Her sister made the lasagna and garlic bread for the reception in the family kitchen.
I have never before been to a wedding where people cried so much.
The previous Monday I saw Dick in the hospital. He said he had no regrets. He'd lived a full life, been to a lot of great places, had been happily married with wonderful children of whom he was proud. "I'm comfortable with the diagnosis, and I trust I'm in God's hands," he said.
I'm sure he had his share of troubles and sorrows along the way. Some would say that his life was far too short, and maybe they are right. But dying with no regrets, looking back over a full and interesting life, surrounded by the people you love and who love you -- that's about the best any of us will do.