Facing a Rainbow

Harry in his backyard, admiring a rainbow he never forgot
Rainbow at 3R Farms
Harry (L) giving my husband Dan a driving lesson with stallion Midnight van de Edelweiss
photo by Harry Rodenberger
photo by Harry Rodenberger

Harry was at home in the house he and his wife Terry had built for his final retirement years, a house that had been encircled by a remarkable rainbow soon after they moved in. They both knew he lived on borrowed time thanks to a defibrillator in his chest that brought him back from the brink of death more times than his doctors could count. The rainbow brought a promise that Harry had not yet finished with his work here.

He was in that house last night when the Lord called him home, after so many near misses. Harry liked to say, “The Lord keeps taking the hook out and throwing me back in.”

This time the Lord kept hold and cradled him.

There is so much to say about a man who was a retired firefighter, a horse and beef farmer, a brother, a friend to scores of people, a father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and a husband to a loving and determined RN wife who single-handedly helped him reach nearly 82 years old.

Harry was always looking for the beautiful and the unusual in his field and garden and would send me photos to use on my blog – I gratefully have used his contributions many times and share them here with my deep appreciation for his eye for wonder in the ordinary. He also took great joy in being someone who would find faces in every-day objects – a skill called “facial pareidolia.”

I always wondered whose face he was seeking.

Now I know. Today he sees the face of God in all His glory, no longer hidden in common objects and no longer mysterious.

You no longer have to keep looking, dear friend. Fulfilling His rainbow promise of a few more years of life and love for you, God has brought you back home.

photo by Harry Rodenberger
photo by Harry Rodenberger
photo by Harry Rodenberger
photo of supermoon by Harry Rodenberger
photo by Harry Rodenberger
photo by Harry Rodenberger
photo by Harry Rodenberger
photo by Harry Rodenberger
photo by Harry Rodenberger
photo by Harry Rodenberger
video by Harry Rodenberger
“To love another person is to see the face of God…”

13 thoughts on “Facing a Rainbow

  1. Your words about Harry captured a sense of the man as well as the poignancy of life. I was reminded of Ruth Bell Graham’s wonderful poem:

    And when I die
    I hope my soul ascends
    slowly, so that I
    may watch the earth receding
    out of sight,
    its vastness growing smaller
    as I rise,
    savoring its recession
    with delight.
    Anticipating joy
    is itself a joy,
    And joy unspeakable
    and full of glory
    needs more
    than “in the twinkling of an eye,”*
    more than “in a moment.”
    Lord, who am I
    to disagree?
    It’s only we
    have much
    to leave behind;
    so much. . .Before.
    These moments
    of transition
    will, for me, be

    *I Corinthians 15:52

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Emily, what a beautiful tribute and wonderful man. I am sure I met him during one of my trips up to see you. I got only a minute into the “Les Mis” clip: had to stop, I was crying. As we Orthodox say for one who has departed, “May his memory be eternal.” With love, Betsy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry for your loss. Sounds like Harry saw the face to God in everything, and everywhere! He, and his photographs, will be missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful tribute to Harry. I knew him only through his time as a Board member. I found him impressive and succinct in his thoughts. Always a gentle man. Tears filled my eyes as I read this and thought of him and his contribution to a life well lived.

    Liked by 1 person

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