Every Sunday one of the members of our church family would make the comment during prayer request time of thanking God for another day of life.
It was always refreshing to hear Don's genuine, heartfelt observation. It lifted the spirit and lifted my own aches or worries.
He passed away Monday night, after gratefully living several years with a heart ailment that would have felled most people long ago.
That's why he was grateful to God for every day of life, for family, for beautiful scenery and every season on the calendar.
And that's why I'm thankful we had so many early signs of spring this year, so Don could appreciate those as well before he went on to be with the Father.
The last day or so has also brought home a similar message in the song the children of our church have been practicing to sing for the rest of the church on Easter morning. I chose the song a week or so ago because it seems easy to learn, yet conveys a message that goes well beyond Easter Sunday.
In fact, I recently typed up the song's lyrics to give to the kids this Sunday so they'll be able to practice at home if they want to.
Those words mean a lot more now.
The name of the song is "This is the Day".
The words go something like this: "This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made. I will be glad, I will be glad and rejoice in it."
See, the song is easy to learn. It's familiar, yet a reminder to not take our days on this earth for granted.
Don, of all people, would have appreciated that.
I wish he could be there on Easter to hear the kids sing those familiar words. I know he'll be in our thoughts when they do.
That's because he not only knew those words, he lived them.