In Loving Memory of Bernard McNair Jr.
The hardest part about losing Bernard is the simple fact of knowing that there is one less chivalric, respectful, kind-hearted man walking around this here planet–as if we could afford to have one less.
Like the many of us who mourn the loss of our dear friend, I met Bernard through school–on the campus of Augusta State University more specifically. There was never a time you didn’t catch “Uncle Bernie” dressed to a tee with his pressed button-ups, loafers, and of course, his snazzy bow ties. His character and charisma can never be duplicated and will never be forgotten as long as I live. Although I was familiar with Bernard on campus, as we were both very active students, I truly got to know Bernard through my best friend Chrystopher, who was Bernard’s line brother.
It’s so strange the way life works, you know. Just weeks before we lost my dear friend, I wrote him a letter filled with ‘thank yous’ and ‘be strongs’ only to find that my letter would never get to him. Bernard was the first friend that I have ever had to say goodbye to and it has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to do. Whether you had a very personal relationship with B or you just knew his face and fame on campus, I think we can all agree that we have truly lost a great man, friend, and brother.
Even from the hospital room that he spent the majority of his last two years on earth in, Bernard spread nothing but love and encouragement to not only myself, but many others. I had no idea that losing Bernard would affect me the way it did, but I’m so glad that it did take the toll on me that it has. As I look along the time I got to spend getting to know Bernard, I can only recall two times that I ever seen him upset or heard him complain. Even with everything he had going on in his life, Bernard constantly uplifted himself and everyone he came in contact with. His strength and faith have always left me speechless.
As we lay this great man to rest today, I hope that we all can do him justice by doing our best to be more like he was. Bernard always had a smile on his face and love nested in his heart. If we want to do anything to carry on the legacy of Bernard McNair Jr., my advice would be the following:
Complain less, pray more, and always remember that tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us… so live as freely and truly as you possibly can.
Although my letter will never reach you, I believe I made you aware of how much you meant to me. Your genuine support and your amazing character will forever live on in my heart. I love you brother. Rest in paradise King.