A TENDERNESS CALLED LARRY KINLEY
Those who knew Larry Kinley can consider themselves lucky.
We came to Cincinnati in 1994 and, seeking a church to worship, we stopped one day at the Good Shepherd Church to attend Mass. When the Mass began this man walked in and it seems he had a light over his head.
When he started singing the first song left us hypnotized. His gentle voice, soft silken and full of expression took over the whole environment. That day we were sure we had found our church. And so, every Sunday we came to see him and were delighted with his voice. It was a special and unique voice that resonated in every corner of the church and also in my soul. I bet it echoed in many souls.
Larry was illuminated. There was something in him that turned everything into half magic. One day, after the Mass, I went up on stage and asked whether he had any CDs I could buy.
He gave me the name of a person who was selling them and I bought them all. Never got tired of listening to them at home. Our Sunday, during lunch, we had his CD playing in the background. That voice used to bring so much peace and gentleness to our day.
I used to buy also his CDs to take as a gift to my family and friends in Brazil.
And that way, our friendship began. Every Sunday for me to go to that Church was a twofold prayer: praying and listening to Larry.
He was part of our Sunday and part of our lives.
At that time our daughter Patricia was 5. We sat in the front pew, my husband, I and her, and he always smiled at us and waved to her. He had a special affection for us and we had the same affection for him. And not only for us, but for everyone who talked to him. He always had a hug, a smile, a friendly gesture.
Larry was a person who saw each one as an individual. How to explain? We watched people arriving (sometimes we were in line to be able to give him a hug) and heard that, for each person he asked something personal. He knew the names of their children. Details that only he knew and could say and ask. He was so personable.
He had such a sweetness in his voice. God gave him the “gift” of voice, even to speak. His smile, ah! his smile. Everything about him was special.
An extremely sweet and gentleman man. A charmed sweetness. A touching and extreme humbleness. With all that power in his voice, he had great humility.
At church, sometimes we noticed how many people he waved to. Or even went to talk to him. At Mass, when was time to wish “peace”, he always waved at us. Or a blown kiss. Or he made a hand sign Peace with his beautiful hands.
His hands, so tender and full of love to give. So warm and so gentle.
He was adored by children. He had a special way to entertain them. His funny questions, the way he looked and smiled at them.
It was this way with our daughter, watching her grow up. Always giving an advice, saying nice and loving words.
There are people that pass through our lives and make a deep mark, marks of fire. Larry was one of them.
At Easter, hearing the song: “They Could Not”, sung by him, thrilled everyone. I would not miss this Mass for anything. He was always elegant in his suit, and when he began to sing, the whole church came to a deafening silence. We couldn’t hear a breath from anyone.
It seemed that Jesus was just sitting there, listening to him. And he got himself thrilled also! As he sang , we could see his eyes filled with tears, the expression of his hands and his body. He was all emotion.
I remember how worried he was to sing this song after his heart surgery. And, when he was able to sing it, (and so perfect!) he felt twice victorious. The whole church cheered him up.
Larry was an artist. A complete artist. Voice and soul. A fantastic human being.
One in a million.
Last year when he had a spot of cancer in his lung he said to me: “I’ll be fine, and next year I’ll be singing “They Could Not””. I hugged him.
And he did it! Wonderfully well as in every year. Sometimes I could even see Jesus at his side, in the form of a light over his head. He seemed to shine.
And that’s the way I see him now. When I think of him my tears are of love and longing. As are the tears of my family.
Larry was known to all my family and friends in Brazil.
Our dear Larry died in his sleep, the kind of death few deserve. He deserved it. Died softly as he was. A sweet person.
Rest in Peace my friend.
I know, and know well, that he is very close to Jesus. Singing with the Angels
My family and my love for you will be eternal.
Sleep with God, in that cloud that you are, fluffy and soft, among Angels.
We love you Larry!
We’ll see you someday. Then I will give you that same hug. And a kiss.
IF YOU READ THIS POST, AND YOU HAVE ANY MEMORY OF LARRY TO SHARE, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. I WILL TREASURE!
Click on the site below to hear Larry singing: