This topic has never been lost on me. As we age and we bury more and more of our friends and family life takes on a new meaning.
I watch social media accounts and am consistently amazed at people. “Damn, tomorrow is Monday!” “Yipee, Tomorrow is Friday!”
I used to think like that. I had a job that I liked most of the time, but it had its moments. Carrying a product sample kit into a large medical facility in the Texas Medical Center during the summer is a task all to itself. Add a tropical “disturbance” into the mix along with the August heat, and it is like being in a steam room only with hot water hitting you as well.
Walking into a clinic for cancer patients puddles off rainwater were around me as I closed the umbrella trying to make myself look as if I had not just been in the torrential rain when an older black man caught my attention. There he was in a suit, tie, and hat looking as if he were headed to meet with some group of investors.
No, that man was a patient, and he just wanted to look his best. He was jovial, and I was trying my best to understand him as we got on the overloaded elevator. We were in fact headed to the same place so as we walked together down the hall I asked him, “How about this Houston weather?”
I was expecting him to complain like most New Yorkers do, or to grumble as most would who just walked several blocks in the rain from the parking lot but no, he amazed me.
He said, “It is a beautiful day!” Ok, maybe the guy was blind. “Beautiful?”
“Any day the good lord lets me suck in air in the morning, it is a beautiful day.”
It was me that was blind. I never forgot that. I look at life differently as I make my way through each and every day. Did I use my time here in a productive way? Did I assist someone else on this journey we call life?
Yesterday I was at another funeral of a family member. The drive was long, and the traffic was brutal. The church was out in the middle of nowhere, but I got there early. As family members came through the doors, it was a mixture of tears and laughter.
The funeral is not for the deceased it is for you, and the rest of us “still sucking air.”
Indeed this was a celebration of this man’s life.
After a lengthy service, we ate a meal together provided by the church. We visited with family that I had not seen in years and made a promise to keep in touch. One last thing to do before the sunset was to drive another fifty miles to this small cemetery out in the country and say our final farewells to this man who brought so much happiness to so many.
The wind was out of the north blowing, howling actually, bringing the windshield down to the teens. For Texans that is cold!
I was dressed for it, but many were not. As the final words were said, the first spade of soil was tossed into the hole by his last remaining brother. There was not a dry eye there as turns were taken to throw some dirt in the grave.
We departed the cemetery as the last rays of sunlight were casting auburn fingers across the sky as if to reach in and grab the soul of our family member, and take him home.
Driving the several hours back to Dallas the day played through my mind. Each and every conversation with family members, each hug, handshake and the warmth of the members of that small country church played through my thoughts.
Late last night as I checked my e-mail I read of yet another friend who passed away and soon I will making my way to East Texas.
As I write this tonight, I wonder if I made the best use of my day today. I was tired and did not do too much of anything. I played with the cats, wrote on my latest book, tried to teach myself another song on the guitar and admired Mary Chapin Carpenter for her talents. I am ending this day thinking of you who take the time to read my blogs and novels and of course tweets.
Don’t let today slip away my friends, it will never repeat itself! Did you make good use of your time here sucking in air?
Much love! -TW