There are people who help us all to see better because of the shoulders they give us to stand on.
I think Pat Risser has offered tall shoulders for a lot of people. I read a post this morning about his health and the news was not good. What stood out for me in the post was the zest for life there. He was open about the news but did not try to make it drama. He did not ask for sympathy perhaps because he does not feel sorry for himself. The things that have marked everything I have ever read from him were there: the courage, the integrity, the honesty and the commitment to living with all the zest and passion he can muster.
Unfortunately I have only known him online and even then not nearly as well as other people. I am one of many he has given something to that he probably doesn’t even realize. A friend of mine is a close friend of his and she told me that he knew of this blog and I felt honored.
In a community often defined by subtraction he has been addition. Even when you disagreed with what he said you agreed with who he was and what he was about. I think a much as anything he thinks human beings are worthy of celebration and hates those things that would tell us we are less.
Reading what he wrote I was always sure he knew that courage was more than a reaction to circumstances that, at least for him, it was index of the kind of person he is.
The news today was not good and I hope you will keep Pat and his family in your thoughts and prayers. The good news is that there is a Pat Risser and in his words, his example, his courage, his life a gift for us all.