Now that Gerald Wilkinson has died, the rest of us have more work to do.
I am sorry if you did not know Mr. Wilkinson.
I am very sorry I did not know him either until I read his obituary last week. But I was so moved by the portraits of him that came into focus in his obituary. I wish I could have known him years before cancer overcame him at age 85 in Hometown.
He started out on his path of generosity as a young man. After his father died when Wilkinson was only 18, he helped to raise his little brother who was only 2, the obituary explained.
He was a devoted husband who had the good sense to think of his wife as his best friend, as well as his mate, the obituary continued.
After his brother fledged, Wilkinson turned his attention to the beautiful martins in his neighborhood. He built and maintained birdhouses for them, but he was also on the alert for anything that could go wrong for the baby birds.
Almost every summer, I experience bird heartbreak. Birds enjoy nesting in my yard, and I enjoy seeing the babies when their heads start peeping out above the edge of the nests. But when those baby birds get a few wild feathers on their little bobbing heads, they will sometimes give you a look when their parents are away that translates to: Watch this! I know they think that while Momma Bird and Daddy Bird are out catching a snack, it would be a great time to try out some special moves. I always talk to them and give meaningful directions like: Stay in that nest!
But I now know Mr. Wilkinson was a man of action, not just meaningless finger wagging.