Tuesday, October 09, 2007

13x365: Brother Kindrachuk

In many religious circles, people within the church are referred to as "sister" or "brother". Our church is no exception. In fact, I hear people referred to as "Brother So and So" so often that when someone else refers to them as "Mr. So and So" I have no earthly idea of whom they are speaking.

Bro. Kindrachuk was a friend of my Grandfather's. They were in the ministry together and often travelled as a team in missionary work. With many of the memories I have of him, I am not sure if they are the truth or just what I created him to be. He died when I was about 12 or so. I adored him and was crushed when he died. In my mind, the fact that someone I cared about would no longer exist seemed too foreign.

Bro. Kindrachuk was a wonderful old man. He was incredibly kind and smiled almost constantly. He always appeared to be distracted - like an absent minded professor - but always focused his entire attention on you when you were talking. It was like, at that moment, you were the most interesting person in the room. He never spoke down to me or acted as though I wouldn't understand. He was jovial and lovely. His glasses were huge and took up most of his face. His smile took up the rest of it.

When he died, his wife sent me a sweater he used to wear all the time. It was a loosely knitted, forest green sweater with a flip collar. It smelled like him - a mix of old man liniment and cologne. I wore it for years - despite it's obvious lack of fashion. When I stopped wearing it, I set it in a drawer to be brought out at especially tough times in my life.

I will never know why he was so important to me, but I loved him as though he was my own grandpa.

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