Meet Art Vos, a classmate of mine since seventh grade.  I went to Timothy Christian Schools from fifth grade through high school, and it was a small enough school that everyone knew everyone.  My graduating class consisted of 100 students, so to an extent we grew up together, with varying degrees of closeness, of course.  Art was well liked and quite popular, and I can still hear the announcer droning his name at graduation: Arthur John Vos, The Third.  Art passed away last week after battling cancer for almost two years.  He left behind his wife Kristen, three children, his parents, three sisters, and countless others who knew and loved him, and who are now grieving as they face life without him.  I pray God will comfort them all as they cherish their memories, and give them the strength to go on.

It’s strange; I have only seen Art once since graduation, at our ten year reunion, yet I feel slugged in the stomach at his loss.  Maybe it’s because I’m in a rough season in life right now; maybe it’s because Art is a tie to my formative years, and to the memories of how I started to become who I am now.  Maybe it’s because I thought some people could never die; they were too big in their circles of influence…like Robin Williams.  Like Double Two Rich.  Like Art Vos…well loved by everyone.  Surely those kinds of people are exempt from the cruelties of life.  But they are not, are they?

I don’t know how to wrap this up.  I hurt.  I know the grief we feel when we lose someone doesn’t just go away; it only fades in intensity over time – a LOT of time.  I don’t have all the answers…but I know the One Who does.  For me, that is enough, and that is the truth in which I rest.

Hug your loved ones, and spend time with them!  Live your life to the fullest.  Do the things you want to do but have been afraid to do, or haven’t had enough time to do – and make sure they’re the RIGHT things to do.  We never know when it will be our time to go.  Do your best to have no regrets about how your life was lived, and with whom it was spent.

Like Art Vos did.

Janet Kruse

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