• Have I done any Good? {Gypsy Magpie}

    The Man, the Legend

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    Last week the unthinkable happened…

    A horrible accident with a tragic outcome.

    I found myself in a crumpled heap on the floor when the messages started coming in that JL was gone. In my mind, this strong, vibrant man was invincible and would no doubt live forever. How could this happen? So many questions were racing through my mind.

    I met JL ten years ago when we moved into our first home. He and his wonderful wife lived on my street and they took an interest in my little family the moment we started unloading the first boxes out of the back of the truck. JL didn’t even know us, and yet he walked right up and started hauling boxes into the house. It was hard to not instantly fall in love with his twinkling eyes and big laugh. Over the years he lifted me up whenever my shoulders began to droop. He knew the names of each of my children and he went out of his way to let them know that they were important. When my husband was gone on the road, you better believe that JL knew it and his eye was on my house to make sure we were safe and secure. In our church group, JL was one of the beloved Candy-men. Sunday mornings he filled his coat pockets with sweets and would lovingly pass his treasures out to the little kids and crying babies in the chapel. He was always giving and everyone loved him.

    The past few days as I have read the posts and comments on Facebook and Instagram I have noticed a pattern…

    JL made people feel special.

    He always had a kind word, a hug, a wink, or some small gesture to say that you were a valuable human being and that he saw and celebrated your worth.

    He made time for those around him.

    If JL knew you, he loved you and you were family, simple as that.

    As I have processed it all the past few days, I have come to a realization, I want to be like that. I want to be the kind of person who lifts others up. The kind of person who doesn’t hide her light from others but instead lets it beam brightly from her face just like JL. He understood the worth of a soul and the power in a simple smile. I want to know it too.

    This man didn’t have an easy life by any means. I struggled wondering why the Lord would let this happen to them when they had already been through SO much. JL and Dawnette have pushed through heartache, blended a family, lost loved ones, and lived with disabilities and major health issues, among a million other things.

    And yet, through it all, they have been two of the most loving, giving, faith-filled, and joyful people that I have ever known.



    When I think of JL and Dawnette, I think of the words to this hymn.

    Cheered Up Print


    the cutest little Etsy Shop by


    They chose to find joy in the rocky road they journeyed down and to search for the sunshine amongst the storm clouds. They acknowledged the bad and they experienced the hard, but they didn’t let it hold them captive.

    I want to be like that.

    So this summer I’m putting down my phone. I’m not going to stress over the details of my church calling. I’m not going to let the clock or the negative words from others {or in my own head} control me.

    I’m going to be present in the moment with my family but even more than that, in my own heart.


    Have I Done Any Good? {Gypsy Magpie}


    I’m going to take adventures big and small.

    I’m going to laugh as loud as I want for as long as I want.

    I’m going to serve others because I want to, not because I should, it’s the right thing to do, or because it’s expected of me.

    I’m going to love even when it’s hard.

    I’m going to find joy even when it’s not easy.

    I’m going to make time for people, campfires, music, and fun.


    Have I Done Any Good? {Gypsy Magpie}


    Have I Done Any Good? {Gypsy Magpie}


    Have I Done Any Good? {Gypsy Magpie}


    I’m going to search for the gems hidden in the small, ordinary, and mundane that surrounds me.

    And, I’m not going to wait until it’s too late to tell someone that I care.


    Have I Done Any Good? {Gypsy Magpie}


    I dedicate this summer to the one and only JL Clyde… may his legacy live on in me and in the lives of every single heart he ever touched.

    “God be with you ‘til we meet again.”


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  • Hunnygrams
    22 May 2014

    Beautifully said.

  • Robyn
    22 May 2014

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about JL You must know him very well, because you described to exactly how I want to remember him. I considered him a dear friend and hope I too can try to live up to his example. Thank you again for your tender words.

  • Natalie hatch
    22 May 2014

    Tears could fill buckets. Thank you for such a beautiful tribute.

  • Natalie hatch
    22 May 2014

    Tears could fill buckets. Thank you for such a beautiful tribute.

  • Danielle Jeffs
    23 May 2014

    Thanks for sharing this! He is a great man who has always been an excellent example of what my Savior wants me to become. He will be dearly missed by all.