“Where was I?  That’s right, 1961.”  Richard sang to me and told me about his life through folk music he had enjoyed over many decades.  Sometimes, he would ask me to sing while he listened.  He smiled and said “I love listening to you sing.”

Richard expressed his joy to stay at Malachi House, despite the fact that this included a cancer diagnosis.  Having been alone most of his life, Richard had no family or possessions.     He only lived two days with us, but since I had spent so many hours with him, we established a strong rapport.

When I arrived for our next visit, his hospice nurse said Richard had but hours left.  Honored to sit with him, I went into the room, remembering how much he loved when I sang to him.   After singing some of his favorite songs softly, I knew time was coming to a close and I thought of one non-folk song which Richard had particularly liked at our last visit: the old Louis Armstrong ballad “What a Wonderful World.”

The peace in the room was all-encompassing and after the last note, Richard took his final breaths before going into that next wonderful world.  In that moment, I learned firsthand the love that comes from serving as Christ wants us to serve.