Inside every human being there are treasures to unlock.
This week a friend passed on to eternal life. We spent five years working with Larry and his wife offering Marriage Encounter weekends to couples in Louisiana and other states. We also assisted in establishing small communities for couples to meet weekly to strengthen their marriage by discussing concepts they learned on their Marriage Encounter weekend. Larry and Yvonne would have celebrated their 58th Anniversary on May 28. On that date a Memorial Service celebrating Larry’s life will now be held.
Larry's daughter called in deep grief wanting to know if we had anything that her dad had written to or for us. She said she would greatly treasure having a copy of it to remember her dad. Larry was an eloquent writer and was gifted in the way he could express his appreciation of a friendship as he described the unique qualities of his friend in his written words. I remembered for my 40th birthday he had presented “a roast” of sorts at the surprise party my wife had planned for me. It was a hidden treasure I had filed away 36 years ago. I read it yesterday. My wife who is the number one member of my Positive Pops fan club said that Larry’s words written that many years ago describe perfectly the person I am to this day. I am sharing what he wrote with you in memory of a friend who lifted me up yesterday and whose words once again impact my life in a powerful way.
The “roast” is several pages long but I am only sharing a portion so you can get the message of the impact these words had on my life at 40 and once again today. I am somewhat reluctant to share this because he said so many positive things to say about me. Truly it is more about the character and goodness of my friend whose thoughtful words still impact me today.
Life is indeed short. You may want to write a letter to your spouse or friend and let them know what you see in them and appreciate about them. It may open a window into their soul. It may allow them to appreciate qualities in themselves they have perhaps overlooked. Larry left me a treasure, a perception from a very dear friend of a much younger me. It is so heartwarming to me to rekindle my memory of those wonderful years of such a unique friendship. It is also self -assuring to know that I am still that same person, a little older and wiser but basically the same.
Tribute to Jesse at his 40th Birthday Party 1981
by Larry Guidry
John Kennedy’s remarks about some men dream dreams and “wonder why” and others dream dreams and ask “why not,” is perhaps a fitting opening to this profile of a very dear friend. Each of us has witnessed Jesse’s dreaming and his “why not” attitude.
It is indeed further appropriate that Jesse’s birthday and the celebration of Columbus Day coincide. Columbus was a Fifteenth Century dreamed who dared to challenge the conventions of the medieval world. Setting out to find a passage to the East, he discovered a new world without falling off its edge. However, unlike Columbus who steered west to find the east, Jesse takes a more direct route and shoots for the moon, and only rarely falls on his ass.
Legend has it that Jesse came from another planet and possesses supernatural powers and that is why he sets his sights so high and sometimes appears to be flying in and out of the house. But more informed sources relate that he was a normal child, born of earthly parents, and it was the ravages of puberty that left him with indomitable optimism and stupendous energy.
Jeanne’s mother said he was shy and looked like a high school kid. He appeared to be walking on eggs, not water…or maybe he was hovering. (Evidently she had not heard the rumors about his super powers. Lutcher was a town of great skeptics in those days.)
Needless to say, the team of Jesse and God managed to sell Jeanne on Jesse. Jeanne of course, vowed never to reveal the source of Jesse’s power.
(Be it human or supernatural) under pain of becoming an energetic optimist herself. And so it was that they set up their own “little church,” to coin a phrase from one of their friends, and began to create a haven in a heartless world.
My own observations about Jesse are both humorous and heartwarming. He is a Quixote-like person, often jostling with windmills, but very often I discover that it wasn’t his mania but my own lack of perception that created the illusion.