I didn’t know him well. My husband grew up in the same community as the Floyds, went to the same church. But I knew him well enough to know he was a good man. A really, really good man.

Harold was a big man. A strong farmer. I’ve heard stories of his Bunyan-like strength, lifting multiple hay bales in one hand and swinging them up on to the bale wagon with ease. He truly was a gentle giant, words I heard used to describe him many times this past week.

I sat on a pew in a church in Moose Jaw yesterday, my husband and youngest son beside me, and I listened to sons-in-law speak tenderly and beautifully about Harold Floyd. About his concern for others, his gentle, down-home wisdom, his willingness to always see the good in people. About the people and things he loved … his beautiful wife of fifty-one years, his children and grandchildren, the land, a good team of horses, visiting with friends, church, and yodeling. I loved the facebook quote from Harold’s son earlier last week that let us all know that Harold was yodeling in his hospital room on the morning of his heart surgery.

I sat on a pew in a church in Moose Jaw yesterday, and I looked at Mr. Floyd, his body at rest in a blue casket, cushioned by fluffy, pure white pillows, and I thought of a life well-lived, of people well-loved. I thought of how quickly it goes, and of how we never know. And I was reminded that we only get this one chance, and the importance of doing the living and the loving, day after day, in the best way we possibly can.

This morning, over coffee in the kitchen, my husband leaned over and hugged me tight. I’m no Harold, he said, but I’ll do my best.

Thank you, Harold Floyd, for your life, your example, your beautiful heart. Rest in peace.