A man I had known for 40 years was buried on Saturday. Our last contact was by email when Hurricane Harvey flooded the Houston area. This man offered sanctuary at his modest apartment in Shreveport to me and Ruthann should we need to evacuate our home. Most of Alan’s life was violent and explosive. A life ravaged by addiction – alcohol and drugs. A life that flirted with death and threaded its way through prison and recovery. Alan often slipped between the cracks, but was never irredeemable. In his last years, he became a teacher and mentor in his community, touching many troubled lives. I learned after the grave site service that Alan had donated his corneas to the local eye bank. His body had been severely damaged by his use of alcohol and drugs and yet he gave what remained of value to another.

A young man asked his music teacher why he had to practice the ending of his recital piece more than the beginning or the middle. Her answer was because that is what people will remember.