Saturday, December 17

Happy Anniversary

A few years ago my sister and I started thinking about the party we were going to throw for our parents' 50th wedding anniversary. Daddy wasn't in the best of health, and Mom would shake her finger at him and say "You'd better not die before those girls throw us that party!"

Unfortunately, neither of them made it. Mom died, suddenly, unexpectedly, and heartbreakingly, last year. Daddy's turn was last month, equally heartbreakingly, if not as unexpectedly. My sister and I have reeled through the last year and a half like a couple of drunken sailors, taking care of business, and in my sister's case, taking care of Daddy (God bless her!). Now we are looking at Mom's empty chair, at Daddy's, and missing them terribly.

Intellectually, of course, we know that such is the stuff of life, that people don't live forever, and most of us lose our parents at some times in our lives. But it is never easy, this Tetris game of life--as each generation completes its job on this Earth, it disappears, and it's the task of the next generation to take the reigns of holding the family together in times good and bad. My sister and I, along with our brothers, are the ones at the bottom of the game now, with our children sitting on top of us. The next generation is already arriving; my brother's two grandbabies. Life goes on.

Life goes on, yes, but it is short. Time passes much too quickly. Don't waste it! That's my simple take-home message to my friends today. Don't waste what time you have left because to be totally frank, you really don't know just how much time that is! So live. Love! Be with your wife, your husband, your children, your parents, those you love. Give up those old grudges. Go to the gym. Quit smoking, for pete's sake. Climb Half Dome. Take a cruise. Do it, because you'll be gone before you know it.

And to Sweet ol' Bob and his Judithannie, Happy 50th Anniversary. We are glad you're together today, even if we can't celebrate with you. We love you, we miss you--REST IN PEACE.

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