We got some sad news during our Christmas visit to York, PA. My wife's grandfather and our dear friend, Gerry Meisenhelder, was in the hospital. He had been diagnosed with advanced leukemia and wasn't expected to make it. We got to visit him in the hospital and tell him how much we love him on Christmas night. He was alert, lucid and making jokes, basically doing everything he could to keep the atmosphere light. The next day he was gone.
The York Daily Record has a nice article on Gerry that gives you some sense of what a special person he was. Gerry was York's first Poet Laureate. He was a painter, a playwright, and an actor. He was a WWII Veteran, a peace activist and a humanitarian. He was a husband, a father, a grandfather and a great-grandfather. He was a good man and an inspiration to all who knew him. Gerry radiated the kind of wisdom that sometimes comes with age, yet with none of the bitterness and cynicism that also sometimes comes with age. He was one of the most interesting and creative people I've ever met, and I feel blessed to have known him. I'm going to miss him terribly.
There will be a memorial service for Gerry today at 6:00 PM at Dream Wrights Youth and Family Theater in York. In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Gerry's life with a memorial donation to the SPCA of York County.