Last week one of my first cousins collapsed at church without warning. Before the night was over, he passed away without regaining consciousness. He was almost a decade younger than me, in great health, and had always taken good care of himself.
Monte Moore was a retired teacher and coach. He was the delight of family and friends. His smile lit up the room. His personality was radiant. His joking around and his stories were legendary.
Monte was married to the love of his life, Ladana. They were a couple completely devoted to each other. When he spoke of her, the love and respect was always utmost. You would never hear Monte say a bad word about Ladana. He treasured her.
Monte and Ladana have two daughters, Meagan and Brynn. Monte and Ladana have two grandchildren, Brody and Willow. Monte was a wonderful father and friend to his daughters, and a fantastic grandfather to his grandchildren. Theirs is a lovely family.
Monte Moore was a godly man, an active member of his church. He led singing. He taught lessons. He was a role model for all the students, athletes and church members he led.
Monte Moore was beloved by his siblings - an older brother, Mike, a younger brother Jon Marc, and a younger sister, Marla. All his siblings adored Monte.
By any measure, Monte Moore lived a clean life, a good life, a life devoted to others. He was a pillar of his community. He did everything right. He kept his body clean and fit. He did not smoke, or drink, or fail to care for himself. He was spiritual without being sanctimonious. He was an example of a good man in every respect.
When a man like Monte dies suddenly, it is a shock to all. It seems so unfair. In a world full of people who seem to be trying to kill themselves with dangerous living, with harmful habits, with bad attitudes, with no commitment to godliness, we are left to wonder why did this good man have to die before his time?
Why do his loving wife and daughters lose their rock? Why will his grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins lose their beloved Monte? How can any of this make sense?
Righteous living guarantees a heavenly reward, but it does not guarantee a long life on this earth. It's been said the good die young. Too often that is true. Certainly in Monte's case, it is true. We thought he would outlive all of us. We thought he would always be here.
Monte remains with us in spirit. His laughter, his singing, his joyful personality - they remain with us in our hearts and our memories. Perhaps he will be a guardian angel for his daughters and their children. He's certainly with his heavenly father now.
Copyright 2017, Jim "Pappy" Moore, all rights reserved.