Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanks-Essay 5: Mondays, mortality

I read on Facebook this morning that a girl (woman now of course, mother of 3 teenagers) who went to high school with me died yesterday of fast-moving colon cancer. She and I were always just acquaintances and not friends and were never really in touch, but she was a good friend to many of my friends, and since I read the news her face as I knew her then, back in Cando, keeps floating up ... blonde, boisterous, saucer-eyed wild child with the biggest laugh ever, bangs teased to a tower, cadre of equally boisterous and loyal girlfriends with whom to cruise Main looking for the parties, her 80's era sports car a fixture at Bob's parking lot for years.  She could not have known then that this would be how her life would end 20 years later ... although of course, none of us can know the hour or the time of our own ends.

Concurrently, today has turned into a very hard day for 2 of my other friends, coping with their own crushing loss of a similar sort. Watching, listening, wanting to help in whatever way but not knowing how, I am humbled (again) by the resiliency of the human spirit when faced with the things in life that can quickly become awful. These friends are able to, as they often do even in benign circumstances, approach the day with grace and selfless consideration of where it will fit into the larger scope of their lives -- and that in this case, it will somehow shape their futures in the way God somehow means them to be.

Again, can I possibly always remember this -- even in the good times? -- this edict that seems so obvious today, this necessity to live as if you can't know what the next day will bring, or how your life will change, or shape others, or end?

"There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” -- Albert Einstein

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