Wednesday, August 5, 2009
We do not know our destiny except that eventually we will leave this plane and move on from here. I've been thinking alot in the last few days, it's been eventful, lots of ups and downs, sorrows and joys that have made it a time for reflection and bewilderment and then awe and joy.
A man I went to school with passed away this week. He would have turned 43 in the fall. He hadn't ever married or had a family however he had loving parents and two sisters who will miss him a great deal. It was a shock and really brought home to me how frail life truly is and how precious. This is a man who started kindergarten with me. You really are dumped on the doorstep of the reality of your own eventual homecoming when someone your age passes away.
The following day I recieved word that a long-time friend and acquaintance who had battled cancer bravely for the past 7 years had passed away. She had beaten the odds having been told early on that she wouldn't likely live that long but she lived long enough to spend more time with her children, a gift I'm sure they and her greatly appreciate. I knew her death was coming yet somehow, it was still a shock. I think of her family, her children are not yet grown and live with their father. And I think of him who supported her. I hope they find peace.
This is the anniversary of the day I lost a dear friend of mine as well. He was the brother of one of my closest friends and I'd met him through her. I can't explain Brian, he was a special, one of a kind person. We were good friends. Only good friends. But we had this odd connection, from the start. He was married, I was seeing someone who I later married. It wasn't that. It was friendship. He told me often how much he loved his wife, how much he adored his children. I also loved his daughters and his wife. They were all wonderful.
The last time I saw Brian he was visiting his sister and we were all attending a Stag and Doe for his other sister who was to be married a few weeks later. We were all at my friend's home and as we were having had a few drinks I took a taxi home later that night. I picked up my car the next day only to find that Brian and his brother in law had parked it up on his lawn, put a for sale sign on it and left it there.
The two of them cracked up laughing as I came into the driveway shaking my head and cursing at them. But the prank doesn't end there. Oh no, those guys had something else going on.
The following Monday I went to work as usual, leaving my car parked in the parking lot. After 8 hours I got in to drive home only to be hit by the most foul smell ever. I put the windows down to no avail. The stench was so unbearable I eventually pulled over and started to look for the source. Under the driver seat, in a little plastic freezer bag, was an opened bag of trout. Yes. Fish. Stinky, rotting, fish!They had put it in frozen and in its perfect timing it had thawed and then proceeded to rot under my front seat! I knew immediately it was Brian! Son of a ....! I couldn't help laughing though...he got me good!
Brian passed away in his sleep 7 years ago yesterday. He was 41. I will never forget the last words he said to me. They were "I love you" in a sweet, friendly way. I've often thought that those were the ultimate last words and that we should all say them frequently to those we love..just in case. I think of his wife, his two daughters and two grandchildren often.
And in all this passing from life, in our family, there was good news. My wonderful Aunt who was diagnosed with cancer back in May had her first scan after her first three chemotherapy treatments and it is very promising. All of the cancer that was visible on her liver, lungs and lymph nodes is no longer visible. This is a remarkable thing. Her health care team is now considering next steps to ensure they eradicate it 100% and give her the miracle she needs! We're moving forward as though it's imminent!
So ups and downs, the roller coaster of life takes us up the hills and through the valleys, plateaus and then back up again, rattling along on a rickity and well worn track. Trying to stay on, trying not to scream, closing our eyes for the really scary parts and then laughing with joy as we come to a screeching halt eventually. It's a bumpy ride but make it one you'd line up for again! Because you don't get to do it over, it's a one shot deal at this Carnival called life!
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