Goodbye Number 8. In the Bible, 8 is the symbol of a new beginning. Today is a new beginning for the great Gary Carter in heaven. It seems he was given little time to adjust to his new environment. Joe D, Mickey, Shoeless Joe all greeted him warmly and told him he must play today. So Gary quickly changed into his celestial stars number 8 uniform. The Babe pranced over to the dugout and said, “Kid we need you to catch today and wear your Oakleys. There are no clouds here, no rain outs, no night games just sunny afternoon fun. And it even gets brighter when the Man stops by daily to check out the score. He is looking forward to shaking your hand after the game. So call your best one and hit one out Kid.”
As Dion sang, “Has anybody here seen my old friend Gary? Can you tell me where he has gone?” Of course we can. As my wife Ronda said, “Gary was too good for this world.” Long will live the ‘character legacy’, ‘the boyish smile’, ‘the manly talent’, and the ‘give it all ya got’ number 8. We salute you, my friendof 23 years, for being a sui generis–one of a kind. Yes, one of a kind husband, father, player, coach and friend to all who gave countless autographs and made each person feel like he or she was the most important individual in the world. Play well on your new heavenly team. And thanks for the memories–your many visits to Shore Christian Center Church, dinners, luncheons, and clinics for all the kids in the area. Play hard and enjoy it our good friend. All of us know when the Man, your Man Jesus, shakes your big hand today those familiar tears will come to your big green eye and to your big blue eye. And he will say, “Well done Gary. You did it!” Did what we ask? Gary once told me he just wanted to make a difference in the world for Jesus. Yes, our friend, you did it in a colossal way. Now enter in to the joys of His Kingdom.
Let’s remember to honor all of our close friends who pass on, for as the distinguished Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t go to somebody’s funeral, they won’t go to yours.”
Much Love from all your shore area friends,
Pastor Dewey Friedel of Shore Christian Center Church