August 16th (1977) we lost a great man

 

To be a great man doesn’t mean you can sing. It does mean you have fame. Fortune. Or you have powerful connections. I do N O T use the word “great” loosely nor should it be randomly bestowed to someone because they can hit a baseball. Throw a football. Score points in a basketball game. You get my point In this instance, with the 41st “anniversary” of Elvis Presley dying soon upon on 8/16/1977, I am talking about the man named Elvis Presley who knew; wealth, success, bitter poverty, love, devotion, to be thrown out of housing with his beloved mother and father, moving away from friends/relatives/neighbors in Tupelo Mississippi to the big city…Memphis (Tennessee), being made fun of, friendship, the beauty in this world from the lowly blossom to the regal of the heavens, the power of the church/God/Jesus, working hard, being a father, losing the life of his greatest love at the peak of his career being Gladys Love (Smith) Presley on August 14, 1958, the adverse whispers of those who looked down upon with disdain to those whose only “crime” was the lack of monetary means, the power of prayers, and how hard it was to see his mother cry yet try to be brave while her husband (Elvis’ father Vernon Elvis Presley) was in prison *** note – Vernon took responsibility – he served his time – he apologized – he made monetary amends to the victim – he was forever sorry – he asked forgiveness many times void of words but with a look that a man gives his wife when he knows she seems him as…lesser, and most of all never was involved in any dishonorable behavior to the law or anyone else AND one last footnote is that Gladys was successful in getting Vernon released from prison early as she was able to garner enough signatures along with the fact that Vernon was married with a minor son and both desperately needed him home with his family and any income he could generate. ***

Elvis, even from childhood, loved to give. Give of his time, his efforts, and his possessions. When he was the most successful entertained in the world, and in my opinion always will be, he visited hospitals. Met with the patients. Prayed with the family. Gave money without being asked and was genuinely humble and asked if they would please accept this gesture. Elvis also was active in major charitable endeavors such as the March of Dimes, St. Judes, etc. Though he never did “commercials”, other than one that has been lost to time and it was for a local donuts shop if I remember correctly, he proudly entertained the sick and their family and took photographs with the sick holding large poster board with the words “please give, or support the March of Dimes, or lets eradicate polio, etc.”. To the injured/sick and the public Elvis bravely smiled and praised the caregivers while giving the sick words of love. Of support. Of them being unique and worthy. But there are countless times that after leaving the hospital(s), or families homes, etc. Elvis would opt not to drive, as he had when arriving, as the tears flowed and he cried. He cried from the heart. He mourned. He asked GodJesus to help them. He was inconsolable. Many times this reaction/emotion would be repeated for days after. Weeks after. Months after. Years after. And to those who were closest to Elvis knew not to say anything as Elvis tried to wrap his mind around the questions of life such as; why Lord are these innocents maimed/sick/disabled, why have you blessed me with success, will anyone remember me when I’m gone, have I done anything to warrant the kingdom of God/Jesus, is this a dream and I’ll wake up and be dirt poor again, etc. Elvis felt. Let me repeat this. Elvis felt. He was attuned to the helpless. The needy. Those needing a shoulder to lean on. Those who were going through life changing events. Elvis felt. Elvis felt. He felt for those in his view, in his house, in his city, in other towns, in the United States, in the world, etc. Elvis felt for men, women, and children regardless of their color. Their social standing. Elvis loved his fellow man unconditionally. Elvis knew of his faults. His failures. His temper. His insecurities. Elvis felt and he was not a great man because of his fame and fortune for he was a great man for he did all he could for others. He performed, while being very ill, for 8 years straight so as not to let a fan/audience member down. He was rock and roll but his love of Gospel music was his anchor. Elvis was a great man for he bravely and honorably used the talents God/Jesus gave him. He worked hard to improve on his talents. On August 16, 1977 the world lost a great man. His name was Elvis Aron (Aaron) Presley the son of Gladys Love (Smith) Presley and Vernon Elvis Presley and he was forty-two years old.

 

Take care and may God bless you and yours,

 

Jeff Schrembs

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