commonLast Friday, my friend left this world for the next. All those questions I have about heaven have been answered for him. As happy as he was on earth, I can only imagine the pure joy he is experiencing now.

Not so for the poor wretches he left behind. Even though it's been almost two years since I've seen Jim, knowing it is no longer an option the next time I journey out to Colorado is beyond sad. Far worse is the grief that must be pulsing through his wife's heart. He and Brenda would have celebrated their fifth anniversary in October.

But I imagine she will always carry his amazing love for her. A few years ago, while visiting them in Littleton, the two told me how much they liked the movie "The Notebook." Jim became particularly emotional as he remembered a speech near the beginning of the movie that he especially related to:

"I am no one special. Just a common man with common thoughts. I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who ever lived. I've loved another with all my heart and soul and for me, that has always been enough."

loved another


Add his love for Brenda with his love for God and passion for life, and I submit that this man was far from common.

He will be missed.

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For most of her life, Sharyn Kopf had a dream: to write sweet little romances or exciting adventures of the heart. Of course, each would be inspired by her own glorious love story! And yet decades skipped by without a romance of her own. She rarely dated. No one kissed her or even held her hand. Turning 40 seemed to not only kill her dreams of marriage and family, but those of being a novelist as well.
   Today, Sharyn still longs for her own love story but she’s discovered she’s not alone in the struggle to find balance between contentment and longing. In January, she co-founded, a blog for single women. Her first two books — one a novel, the other nonfiction — about surviving singleness after 40 will release this summer. Full of honesty, humor and, yes, a little romance, these books offer encouragement to others going through similar circumstances.
   In her spare time, Sharyn plays the piano, makes the best fudge ever, fights against unnecessary uses of the comma, and watches too much HGTV. She lives in Bellefontaine, Ohio, just five minutes from her favorite people in the world — her family.

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