Posts Tagged ‘life’

My Mac died in Malaysia but was revived once I brought it to the Providence Apple Store.

Just like Lazarus.

Sadly, it died again two weeks later. So I am at a loss.

But thanks to us being an Apple family my daughter is letting me use hers to write this post.

I write about life. And I write about death.

I am home now. Visiting Mom and family for the summer in Rhode Island.

Read three obituaries in the last week. I either knew the person or knew the family of the person. It’s a small state. The place where I spent my formative years.

If I read the obituaries in Dallas (lived there twelve years) I would not know the folks. Sure, there would be the odd, unexpected death of someone in the community that I would know. But it would not be the norm.

I lived in Southern California for quite a few years. Same. Wouldn’t know a soul in the obits.

But once you come back home. Well, that’s different.  You know everybody. Especially when you grew up in a state that has a population of one million.

Yes, I once was one in a million. #Truth.

I was attending the funeral of my best friend’s father-in-law yesterday. He was ninety years old. A lovely man who led a truly wonderful life. Nine children and twenty-four grandchildren. Also great grand children in the mix. A family man. A faith filled man. A community man.

I stood outside the Portuguese church waiting for the doors to open. I was told we couldn’t enter because there was another funeral taking place.

Standing with others who were also waiting to fill the pews for the next funeral Mass.

The doors of the church finally opened.

There was a hearse outside on the street with its doors open ready to receive the blessed remains.

I spied a teddy bear in the back of the hearse. But I was still not prepared for what I saw next.

The smallest coffin I have ever seen came out of the church doors. It only required four pall bearers. I almost gasped. My throat closed. I looked at another couple who was also waiting to go into the church. And I could only glance at them and whisper, “Oh, God!”

Watching the young mother broke my heart.

The mourners of the young child left and the mourners of the old man entered the church.

The whole stinking process is sad.

It made me think.

The loss of a beloved father. No matter how old.

But still. A feeling of gratefulness.

Because his death was one of the best scenarios.

He left this world.

After serving his country.

Meeting and marrying the love of his life.

Bringing eight fabulous sons and a daughter into the world.

Starting his own business.

Being a community member.

Involved in his parish.

Caring about others.

I left the funeral service with sadness because I understand what it means to lose a father.

But I also left with an appreciation of a life well lived. And I sort of felt okay.

Not everyone has the same opportunity. For whatever reason.

Bless us all.

 

 

 

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I love books. Some more than others.

I remember reading John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” and not being able to put it down once I got past the the first chapter or two.

It was supposedly based on his family’s history.

Loosely or not, I do not know.

But it was a fascinating story. Started on the East Coast. Ended on the West Coast.

There were so many times when I thought, “Oh, this person will marry that person.”

Or, “This is likely to happen.”

No, it didn’t work that way.

Maybe because it was based on a family history. And if we look at our own family history it’s not always all nicely tied up with a bow.

Life just happens.

I suppose that is one of the reasons I liked the book.

It gave me a snapshot of American history.  A family. Immigration. Westward migration.

Also a reality check.

When it comes to families nothing comes neatly packaged.

The girl from the neighboring farm does not always marry the boy from next door.

Lots of times, yes.

But not always.

Life is not predictable.

Sometimes it can be.

Other times it is not.

I loved that Steinbeck kept me guessing and always wanting more with each chapter.

If you haven’t read it I suggest you do. Makes you really think.

 

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Every Minute

A woman that I worked with at AT&T was posting last week on Facebook about how excited she was to be heading to Texas to see her grandkids. Subsequent postings showed that she was enjoying her time with family. Posted pics of her four year old grandson’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese just five days ago.

Today she shared that this fun family vacation was marred by a horrible tragedy yesterday. Her family was involved in a terrible car accident in Humble, Texas and as a result they lost their little four year old grandson.

I was so very sad to hear this. I really can’t imagine the mother’s pain. Or the pain of the entire family.

Life is so very precious. Here one minute and gone the next. Sometimes with no warning at all.

Make the most of every minute. Show the love to the family and friends. Enjoy each other. Let go of the grudges and negativity.

Life is short enough as it is. And sometimes it can be even shorter.

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When was the last time you were really thrilled? Really thrilled.

I am not talking about happy, joyful, or excited.

Sometimes it’s hard to say. Unless you are one of those people who spend a lot of time at theme parks on roller coasters or bungee jumping.

Thrill is a strong word. And maybe it should just be reserved for jumping out of planes or that courting period.  Maybe we are just lucky if we have felt it in our lives.

The last thrilling moment that I truly enjoyed was lying on my back on a patch of grass about four years ago. And it didn’t cost me a dime. I was counting the minutes until Rory’s plane would land after a summer in Damascus, Syria. The strip of green was near the parking lots at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) where the ginormous, international planes land. I cannot emphasize ginormous enough.

Looked up at the skies and waited for the whoosh and the perfect view of the underbelly. So loud and so close you could almost touch them. Felt like they were going to land right on top of me.

What an amazing feeling. I laughed and laughed. Couldn’t contain myself. Wasn’t a chuckle or even a belly laugh. It wasn’t because of a funny story or side-splitting joke. Was unique.

Sort of a trill caused by thrill.

When was the last time you were truly thrilled? Really and truly thrilled.

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