It came to my husband’s attention that someone with a very close personal connection to him is currently being lauded as one of the many “heroes” who have emerged during the Hurricane Harvey tragedy.
The article contained in this link is about a professional fisherman from Kentucky who strongly felt he was being led by God to drop everything to go and assist in the rescue efforts in Houston. So that’s exactly what he did – He talked to his wife about it, prayed about it, grabbed his boat, and traveled to Houston.
The parents (Bobby Joe and Melba) of the heroic man described in the article, who is now nicknamed “Mr. Kentucky,” happen to be lifelong friends of Mr. Stars’ Mom and Dad. I know, I know, cue the music to “It’s a Small World.”
Bobby Joe, Melba, and Mr. Stars’ parents share an incredibly rich history together… Their lifelong friendship is gold… Pure gold. They were BFFs decades before the term BFF was coined.
Their friendship goes way, way back to the days when they all worked side-by-side to feed the homeless in Chicago… Back to the time when they marched with Martin Luther King, Jr… and back to when Mr. Stars’ parents owned a humble used bookstore in the heart of Chicago where people would hang out for hours and hours.
According to Mr. Stars’ Mom, Bobby Joe and Melba have demonstrated a life-long pattern of showing up for people during critical points of their lives.
Bobby Joe and Melba were among the first to meet Mr. Stars when he was born. They’re like family to him. As a miracle baby, the first months of Mr. Stars’ life were critical – You can read a little about it here… and Bobby Joe and Melba were there during this and other pivotal times for his family.
Mr. Stars’ Mom glows as she talks about one of her fond memories… Evidently, the basement in their bookstore would occasionally flood. Clearly, moisture in the air from standing water in a basement is bad news for books.
Bobby Joe was ALWAYS there in a heartbeat to help them out in whatever way he was needed. He would work tirelessly for hours and hours to ensure that his friends and their store were okay.
The four of them, Mr. Stars’ parents, Bobby Joe, and Melba were ALWAYS there for each other throughout their entire lives… Especially during critical times.
Bobby Joe and Melba have lived their lives well. They have been blessed with a large family. They taught all of their kids how to love by being a living example of love in action. They faithfully taught their children to love their neighbor and to show up whenever they’re needed… It’s been a lifelong pattern of behavior.
Bobby Joe showed up… every single time. It’s no coincidence that his son is now showing up for flood victims. Like father – like son.
What the article doesn’t say is that Bobby Joe is on his deathbed even as we speak. He is surrounded by tons of people who love and adore him. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be medically done for Bobby Joe himself at this point…
Bobby Joe’s son, now known to the world as “Mr. Kentucky,” decided to do exactly what would please his Dad the most… He simply did what he saw his Dad do a kazillion times before… He showed up to be there for people in need.
It’s stunning, really… And quite inspiring…
Can you imagine how proud Bobby Joe is of his son right now? Can you imagine the joy that swells within his heart in knowing he raised his kids well… Especially at a time like this?
“Mr. Kentucky” is EXACTLY where his Dad would want him to be and doing EXACTLY what his Dad would want him to do. You can almost hear Bobby Joe say with proud tears in his eyes, “That’s my boy!”
Bobby Joe and Melba created a legacy that their son is now carrying on in a spectacular way. We’ve been treated to just a tiny glimpse into the ginormous difference this entire family is quietly making in our world today.
We need more Bobby Joes… Oh, how we need more Bobby Joes…
And now, as the sun sets on a life well lived… Through tear-stained eyes, we can almost see the gates of heaven being flung wide open… We begin to hear the distant rumblings from the thunderous applause by all who have gone before him…
Well done, Bobby Joe… Well done!
Be at peace… It is well with your soul, Bobby Joe…
UPDATE – 11:00 AM: Mr. Stars’ Mom just called to let us know the heartbreaking news that Bobby Joe passed away earlier this morning… Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with Melba, their entire family, and all who knew and loved Bobby Joe.
“Kentucky Man Touches Hearts Of Many After Live Interview In Texas.” http://www.lex18.com/. A Cordillera Communications Station. August 30, 2017. Accessed on August 31, 2017 at http://www.lex18.com/story/36254361/kentucky-man-touches-hearts-of-many-after-live-interview-in-texas
The picture is a screenshot from a YouTube video posted by LEX18 News entitled, “Kentucky Man Hailed as Hero.” Video can be accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=Hud_50HuNqY