Being A Good Man

The day dawned much like that wedding day 25 years ago, and as I stood among the hundred or so familiar faces that came to the cemetery, my heart was enriched and I felt nothing but gratitude to have known this very good man.

Kathy, that summer day bride, and her husband were there, with her father by them in a wheelchair, one leg amputated from diabetes; her mother standing behind him.

My mom, now widowed 16 years, on my left arm, my wife on my right.

Ned’s sons with firmly tight jaws, his daughter with a quivering lip; their children handsomely dressed and properly respectful, each of them tucking notes and photos into the coffin, eyes red with tears and hearts broken.

And as I sadly gazed at them, I thought of the old-timers smiling at the skinned knees of the little ones so many years ago. My heart grew lighter seeing the symmetry of it all.

In short, it is right that they cry. The loss should hurt and the pain will endure for awhile. And that pain will build character and evoke the great stories of the past that their children will one day share. All because their grandfather was a good husband, a good teacher, a good father–quite simply, a good man.

As Yahoo and MSN find the daily dirt to scoop onto their home page, we sometimes find it hard to remember what a “good man” looks and sounds like. I grew up surrounded by them and consider myself to be extremely blessed.

Rest easy, Ned. You’ve nothing to worry about as you pass through to the next place. They’ve been holding your spot for years.

– “I think for any American who had the great and priceless privilege of being raised in a small town, there remain always with him nostalgic memories of those days. And the older he grows the more he senses what he owed to the simple honesty, the neighborliness, the integrity that he saw all around him, in those days, and took for granted, and that he learns to appreciate only as he grows older and dwells more in other places of the earth.” – Dwight Eisenhower

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at

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One comment on “Being A Good Man

  1. Now that I’m a mom, I realize that those idyllic childhood days were actually a result of hard work on the part of my parents (and other adults). The annual 4th of July neighborhood parade and picnic did not just happen out of thin air. It’s now a 50+ year tradition and still going strong. But I don’t live there anymore. Now I’m on the other side of things, making memories for my kids. Hope they like them!

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