Reflections on Mr. Kirby

With Independence fresh on my mind from yesterday's festivities, I cannot help but reflect on a brief, but stirring, encounter our family had with Mr. Kirby. It was a busy Friday evening. We had just closed on our house and were donating much of our furniture to dear friends. One friend, Kathy, came to pick up the entertainment center and side cabinets that Alex has had since before we married. Kathy's husband came to do the heavy-lifting and they brought with them an elderly man, Mr. Kirby.

Kathy has previously shared much with me about Mr. Kirby: how he adopted 6 children after he and his wife had tragedy-upon-tragedy with biological babies, how he was a successful engineer who suddenly at 50 years of age decided to respond to the Lord's call to be a pastor and how he has become very independent following his wife's death 5 years ago.

One thing she didn't share; Mr. Kirby's decorated military service to our country in World War II. That Friday night, he entered our home dressed in starched khakis, a neat and tidy shirt and a ballcap perched upon his head that read 'Purple Heart.' My Budding Author, 9, was intrigued and began to ask Mr. Kirby about his experience. What a humble man stood before us. While he shared stories of friends' lives lost, his eyes were misty. While he told of specific battles, his youthful vigor returned.

Come to find out, Mr. Kirby is one of the most decorated World War II veterans in North Texas. Bronze star, Silver Star, Purple Heart and more; all awarded to this precious elderly man standing in my home on a summer Friday night. We were inspired by the eighty-something gentleman who graced our home that night. His life of service shines.

As our visit came to a close, Budding Author stood very close to Mr. Kirby, hugged him, and with a deep sincerity said "Thank you, Mr. Kirby, for serving our country and fighting so bravely." Mr. Kirby looked down at my growing boy, winked and with a teary-eyed smiled said, "You... you were worth it."


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