A Well World: Partings

It has been said, “Life is made up of meetings and partings.” In the last two months, the Well Community parted with two precious friends. “Little” James, a resident of Jacob’s House, passed in his sleep one night in early February. He’d been a part of the Well family for over seven years and was well loved by his “brothers in spirit” at the group home. His nickname came about to avoid confusion with another resident named James who was larger in build. But the only thing you could call “little” about Little James was his stature. He was big in heart and kindness, a giant in compassion and a monument of peace.

If he had been a knight, we could have called him James the Contented. I never once heard him complain about anyone or anything. Quiet and reserved, Little James was always quick to listen, always positive, always friendly. He loved to spend hours on the porch of Jacob’s House, modestly smiling with his housemates and listening to their chatter. He also loved Star Trek shows and movies.

I am so glad Little James found his way to the Well Community and Jacob’s House. His soft spirit always encouraged me. I believe he understood the life he was given and was at peace with it. He taught us much and is greatly missed.

We also lost a longtime donor and friend of the Well just this week. John McStay departed this earth to his heavenly reward Tuesday. In 1996, John and his wife, Ellen, founded the Morning Star Family Foundation dedicated to financially empowering nonprofits involved in education, youth programs and social services, as well as Christian and Protestant organizations, churches and ministries.

Beyond financial support, John’s heart was to see nonprofits be strengthened so they could successfully serve their communities. With that in mind, twice a year the Morning Star Family Foundation gathers leaders to discuss various topics related to nonprofits. I always look forward to the Faith Forum and have learned so much from John and others.

I have also deeply admired John and Ellen’s steadfast faith. I am humbled by the way they have expressed their faith through generosity and compassion. Our condolences go out to Ellen and the family, and our gratitude goes up to God for John’s faithful concern for the members of the Well Community.


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