Today we'll bury my old friend - one of the few (maybe the only) people left on the earth who were around to remember me as a baby. And going to the cemetery always makes me stop and think about life, and death, and the meaning of it all.
Life can be so hard, and this past year I've known more pain than I ever thought was possible to endure. In fact there were times I could barely endure it and thought it would be easier to end it. But life won out and I prevailed and I think that's because life can also be exhilarating, fulfilling, thrilling, and so worth the struggle. The love of family and friends, the ability to worship God and feel his smile and blessings, the smell of a spring morning - so many things that bring joy and make life such a gift. So when life wins its a good thing. But sometimes its not easy. Often, in fact.
This old friend had a pretty blessed life, never having to worry about financial issues and being pretty healthy up into her 90s. But the past few years have been hard for her and make me wonder about the difficulties of living. We all have our crosses to bear and the world can be cruel, but at the same time she knew the best of it. She lived in a beautiful place, enjoyed the plenty of wealth, and had meaning to her existence.
Laying anyone to rest is thought-provoking and makes us examine our own lives and what we've done with them. I'm not unhappy with the life I lived - I valued my integrity and lived an honest and faithful one. I'm not ashamed of the things I've done and even the worst of them were not so bad. And I'm leaving behind a legacy of wonderful people that I brought into the world and raised and loved and who will make it a better place long after I'm gone. And while I may have had pain and never known