Lance Perry Snyder is a gem of a brother. I’ve known that since I was a kid when my Mom and Dad put us in the same room. At night, we’d lie awake talking to one another past our bedtime. He’d ask me questions and I’d reply with big-brother answers.
Once, I made fun of him for being afraid of the dark, and pulled out the nightlight to help him overcome his fear. He got up and tried to re-attach it to the socket, only to get shocked by the electricity. As a big brother who knew better, I had him wash off the electricity in the bathroom sink.
Later, we played on the same soccer team. I don’t remember the name of the team, nor our coach, but I remember the last game we played together in Norwin, PA. Our team made it to the final. Tied 1-1 until the last minute, Lance and I combined on the game winning goal. Winning in Norwin was bigger than the Pens winning the cup.
Along with Morgan, Lance and I share a love of golf. All three of us used to play on a junior tour where 15 to 18 year olds competed. One year the tournament was held at the Oakmont East golf course.
At the end of the day, I went to greet my brother who was playing along with an 18 year old, twice his size, and the expected winner of the tournament. To my surprise this guy was congratulating Lance, who had just won the tournament after sinking a ten foot putt on the final hole of the course.
Lance has an easy-going nature. I never really met someone who didn’t like Lance. Not just his peers, but guys much older than him. When Lance was in high school, some of his friends had already retired. I remember his boss at his first job out of college with Pulte Homes was a guy named Robbie, a big burly former marine. He and Lance were pals. They’d go fishing, boating. Lance has a good soul. He’s a gentleman, who loves everybody and is loved by everybody.
Sometimes, because I live far away, I lay awake at night wondering if we squeezed the lemon. It’s easy to say no when the devil of doubt crawls beneath your skin, and you start to think – not about what you did – but about all you might not do.
But as I write this blog post in the guest room of his house at 106 Virginia Ave, on a short visit home to spend time with him, I don’t doubt he’s already lived more in 30 years than many live in 60. How few even get started on the house of their dreams, let alone renovate it before age 30?
Some of you may be wondering how Lance is doing. From my point of view, he’s doing well. Although his spirits are down, he’s surrounded by his siblings, Morgan and Ashley, his wife Francine, Bob, Cherie and Kasia in spirt, by his Mom and Dad.
Yes, Lance we squeezed the lemon.
As I get ready to head back to my wife and son overseas, I have to say that Lance and Morgan are the best brothers I could ask for.
Lance, you are still teaching me the value of hard work. Morgan, you are teaching me the value of treating everyone the same, as you work for the good of all those you meet. You both have accepted me for my decisions. Thank you both. Let me close with a few words from the dedication Lance read to me on the day of my wedding in 2007:
“Parker and Kasia will unite and become one. Together, they will create opportunities for others with new beginnings and better endings. They will travel with one another, know no distance too long, no barrier or border too big… where others would see only differences, they would see love.”
Lance, I am hoping you will get better and trust you to the gracious care of your wife. But while I’m gone I want you to know that I love you.