R.I.P. Willie Dee Best…
My wife and I have sojourned for 10 years in South Africa. I reflect on a missionary’s life, and how we sacrifice time and proximity to family when in a foreign nation. Distance from family means missing family events: birthdays, graduations and marriages. The most difficult family event to miss is a relative’s death. Yesterday, my father’s younger brother died, my Uncle Willie. There are many humorous memories I will always share about him, but what I will remember most was his gift to sing. He was the Best’s family soundtrack. When I hear songs, he covered; “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” I hear his voice and a fun memory is recalled. Willie blessed my marriage singing the “Lord’s Prayer” at my wedding. Missions work is a calling that I never regret answering but being the eldest grandchild, I have the blessing and burden of knowing, loving many family members. Because of this I will know great loss, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Technology allowed me to video call from Cape Town to console my grandmother who lost her baby son. She was the primary care-giver to her blind son, through her tears she shared how he went peacefully. She really wanted to know how her talented grandkids in South Africa were doing. This holiday season she loved seeing Noel playing the piano and singing during our family Sunday service when we were in the States this year. During our overseas phone conversation, my grandmother expressed waiting for her three children to arrive to help with funeral arrangements. She understood I would not be able to come to Willie’s home going service and praised our missions work in South Africa.
I know where Uncle Willie is and who he is with, and he who once was blind now can see.