This is an incredibly difficult post to write.
My friend Mark, who I met through my booth at the antique mall, was brutally murdered on Christmas day. Shot and killed, along with a friend who remains in critical condition. This was not a random act...the killer knew at least one of the victims. Out of resepct for Mark's family, I will not go into further detail here, but would ask that you pray for all involved, including the murderer.
Although Mark didn't officially work at the antique mall, he was a close and dear friend to both of the owners. Indeed, he was a dear friend to anyone who had the privilege of knowing him. On any given day, you could find him there helping out, lending a hand in any capacity needed. On more than one occasion, he could be counted on to help me load or unload new pieces I'd bring into my booth, or to lend an objective eye about one of my booth vignettes.
He was a bit of a renaissance man, but was a preacher by trade. I find comfort in this, but feel little comfort otherwise.
You see this smiling photo of myself below?
It was taken by Mark just prior to the open house we had back in October. That was Mark for ya, friend, helper, preacher, furniture mover, mall security, teller of tall and entertaining tales, and even photographer when called upon!
You will be missed, sweet friend.
God willing, I'll see you on the other side.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.