Monday, March 03, 2008

Life is Short

We all have a mental picture of the people we know. I usually see them as they were when I met them. When I look at my husband I don't see the silver lacing his hair or the crinkles around his eyes or the few pounds that he has gained over the years. In my mind's eye I see him as he was when I met him 27 years ago. In my mind's eye I do see my parents as they are. It scares me to see them aging before my eyes. I see my children as they are, young and vibrant.

What brings me to this subject is today my husband and I attended the funeral of an old friend. We all worked together at the local gas and electric company. Tom and my husband started in my department the same day and worked side by side for many years. We were all in our very early 20's. Tom was a magnet for people, everyone he came in contact with loved him and he had many friends. He was so very charismatic and treated everyone like they were special. Often times he would turn and look over his shoulder and wink at me. Of course I always had a smile for him. He loved the ladies and we didn't think there would ever be one that could reign him in but one special girl did. Stephanie is very quiet and we were all surprised with his choice. It turned out to be perfect. She grounded him and it worked. Tom was very athletic in high school playing football and baseball and later on the company baseball league. His love of baseball took him all over the country to many major league parks. Golf was also a passion of his.

Ten years ago Tom was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. The same disease that took his father's life in his 40's. He eventually had to leave his job. This disease robbed him of the use of his body, put him in a wheel chair and eventually even stole his voice but not his spirit. I saw Tom in my mind's eye today as the young, healthy and beautiful person he was when I met him in 1978. I know that he walked into heaven, released from his debilitating illness. The church today was standing room only, filled with friends from every aspect of his life. He was 53.

This is the second funeral of a friend that I've attended in 5 months. During the service I had thoughts of Ginny and it was a double whammy for me. I thought this was supposed to happen when you get older. It certainly makes a person think about their own mortality. Please take the time to tell others the good things you like about them, don't waste your time with the jerks in life. As the teacher I work with says, "be the duck" let the water roll off your back don't let others bring you down.


Sandi said...

That is very good advice. Something I try to do all the time...
Sorry about your friend:(