In 1994, Nicholas Sparks started on a novel and two years later it became his first published book. In 2004, the story of Noah and Allie was captured on film in the romantic movie, “The Notebook” which happens to be my daughter Morgan’s all-time favorite. I’m guessing she’s watched it at least 25 times. Because of her insistence her mother and I have viewed it more than I care to mention.
Not to give anything away, if you’ve never watched the movie, I couldn’t help but think of the story line this week with the sad news of both Mr. and Mrs. Albert Reichert’s passing within days of each other. For those of you who have read the book and/or seen the film, you know what I mean. For the rest of you -- rent or buy the DVD.
Anyone who has been linked to the Macon community, up close or from afar, can attest to the active and civic-minded Reichert family. The obituaries for Albert and “Chunk” Reichert that were published in this paper substantiate what most of us already knew. That is, the couple gave so much to a community they truly loved. (By the way, family members said Mrs. Reichert was nicknamed “Chunk” because when she was born, her father said God had blessed them with a chunk of gold.)
I attended the two memorial services inside the sanctuary of Vineville United Methodist Church last week. I was struck at how sincere, yet simplistic these commemorative observances were handled. While celebrating the life of this couple during separate services, it didn’t take much effort to get an idea of their priorities in life.
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For Mr. Reichert we heard about his love of the legal profession, philosophy and helping other people. Because of Mrs. Reichert’s refined taste in music and the written word, the congregation was treated to Chopin (Nocturne in E Flat Major Op. 9 No. 2) exquisitely performed by Edward Eikner on piano and the reading of excerpts from William Cullen Bryant and Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Words spoken at funerals and memorial services are important to me. This is the culmination of someone’s life; the revelation of the impact that he or she has made on the world; the influence this member of society has had on those around them.
Much like a summation by an eloquently tongued attorney who “ties it all together” for those listening intently, are the expressions delivered to grieving congregants desiring to be encouraged. In essence, this is the final acclaim.
There was so much that could have been spoken by Dr. Marcus Tripp in his homily, but he let the lives of the Albert and “Chunk” Reichert speak for themselves.
You’ve heard the saying, “Everyday you’re writing your own obituary.” Tripp, in commemorating the Reichert’s lives, said something that should be of great counsel to all of us who are still in the “fever of life.” “God intended us for fellowship, not isolation.”
That’s one great thing about our community. We have a chance to fellowship with one another in multiple ways; sophisticated chatter, spiritual church worship, social groups, offices, talk radio or families. The opportunities to “come together” and fellowship are available if we choose to participate.
It is pretty evident the Reicherts were illustrations of such fellowship everywhere they went. I believe they’ve passed that legacy on to their children and grandchildren who are finding ways to give back to our city in much the same way as their elders.
We should celebrate those around us like Mr. and Mrs. Reichert who have contributed and shown the way by giving much. May their examples and heritage be the inspiration and motivation for us to join them in fully participating in a better city; rising above mediocrity and reconciling what one day, will be our final acclaim.
Kenny Burgamy serves as a marketing consultant and is co-host of the Kenny B. Charles E., TV, radio and Internet program.