I never saw or knew him, however, thanks to two telling pictures and kind words written by Scott Stanfield, titled “Polite and kind panhandler remembered fondly” (Record, Sept. 5), I know enough of Rod Neil to be able to admire him, even after he passed on to a much more promising life.
People like Rocky are a quiet example to the rest of us.
It’s interesting to note that Parry, his brother said the following of his brother, “Rod was a really good brother. He really cared about people. He had the hardest life you could have.”
Yet with his own hard life challenges, Rod cared for others; he cared because he knew from his own experiences how hard life can be.
For me, there is a learning aspect regarding this soul-touching story.
He having lived his tough life was often helped by others, yet he was such a great example while he was living his “poor” life. Most of us would feel humbled and would think what a failure we would be, to be remembered as a panhandler.
Yet how many of us would have people outside of our family attending our funeral, including the presence of the mayor of Courtenay, speaking at our service?
Could it be that Rocky was quietly teaching us while he was still with us? Yes, I never knew him, but I do now, and he added an important touch to my spiritual life; to be kind is essential to being loved.