|My Father and Mother in law|
Throughout my life there have been many people I have looked up to. There was something about them that I wanted to have in my life. Over the years the number of such people has shrunk significantly either because I achieved the attribute in the person I looked up to or (as was more often the case) because they turned out to not be as amazing as I once believed. My father in law was a person I looked up to until the day he died; a day that sadly was today.
Georgi Alexiev was born in 1949 to Boris and Stefka. He was born 4 years after communism was forced upon his home country of Bulgaria. He never liked it, and he was happy when it ended. He would often tell me how much he admired Ronald Reagan for helping to end communism and restore freedom. He loved his country and was a true patriot. One day as I was driving with him over the mountains I mentioned how beautiful Bulgaria is. He responded by telling me that it is a piece of heaven.
Georgi was a hard-working man who contributed much to society. He was an engineer who helped developed many infrastructure improvements in Bulgaria. My favorite is the Yastrebets lift that carries passengers from Borovets resort to the Yastrebets peak on Mount Rila several thousand feet up. Every time I ride it I think of him.
He worked hard and in sometimes dangerous conditions. This allowed him to retire early, but it did not keep him from working. He continued to have side jobs working on other projects in and around his home town of Kosenets where he was loved by everyone. He was not one to just sit around and do nothing.
Yet for all his accomplishments, the one he was most proud of was his family. When he passed away late this morning he did so surrounded by pictures of his 4 grandchildren in the house his grandfather built and in the room where his father died. Family was very important to Georgi. He loved his wife Maria, and two daughters Stefka and Sasha dearly. It is my hope that I can be as loving of a husband and father to Sasha and my daughters as he was a father and a grandfather to them.
|The young Alexievi family: Maria, Sasha, Stefka, and Georgi|
He was a great man, and I can’t think of the best words to send him off, so I will borrow from Rich Mullins:
“This life has shown me how we’re mended and how we’re torn
How it’s ok to be lonely as long as you’re free
Sometimes my ground was stony
And sometimes covered up with thorns
And only you can make it what it had to be
And now that it’s done . . .
When I leave I want to go out like Elijah
With a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire
And when I look back on the stars
It’ll be like a candle light in central park
And it won’t break my heart to say
Сбогом тъст ми.