Without getting in to specifics, I've either read or heard a few things that got me thinking.
As many know, last year I lost my dad and brother. We all get to the point when family members die. It's to be expected. That doesn't mean it isn't sad, nor do I mean to diminish the loss . . . it's a part of life. The end of life.
My wife was just at a funeral. A co-worker of hers husband passed away. But, unlike the expected passing of those who are old or have become weak and sick, this husband was about 30 years old. The couple were married just this past April and were about to leave on their honeymoon to Ireland. They also wanted to start a family right away. Right before leaving for Chicago on business, the husband got sick. It wasn't much. In fact he went on the business trip and upon returning went to the doctor. Several tests later and it turned out he had a clot in his liver. No big deal. They caught it early. Some treatment with blood thinners and all should be well. But, it wasn't. So, in the hospital he goes to undergo surgery to clear the blockage.
He never woke up.
Just like that.
That's sad. Brutal. Tragic. No words can convey how one feels at a time like this. You often read about these kinds of things in the paper. It really hits hard when it's so close to home. I think back to when I had a clot in each lung after my ankle surgery. Was I lucky?
I started this blog not that long ago. I did so after reading a number of other blogs. Mostly conservative leaning blogs, but some that were more personal in content. I thought it a good way to vent and share my thoughts, as well as read news from a different source other than a newspaper.
As a result, I came to know many of these bloggers at Drinking Right, a monthly get together at Papa's Social Club. There we drink, eat pizza, and often discus everything but politics. The people I've met have become very good friends. We've taken in quite a few other activities together . . . the airshows, Hooters, and this weekend, one of their weddings. And that's just my participation. Others get together for a variety of reasons. Getting out to meet these folks has truly been one of the better things I've done lately.
Well, blogging led to Twitter. I've yet to attend a "tweet up", but intend to. Already I've made another batch of friends. Some of them I know from the blogs. But, others are new to me. It's been a lot of fun.
Then, there's Facebook. As a result of facebook, I've connected with a few friends from high school, other "new" friends, and three people from the neighborhood I grew up in . . . 30 some years ago!
You might be wondering . . . first death talk and then social networking?
Life can take an immediate turn down a one way street at a moments notice. Fact is, we have little control over certain aspects of our lives. The other fact is that there is no undo. No do overs. No rewind. No take backs. We live as a consequence of the decisions and choices we make. We only control the choices we make.
Should I be fortunate enough to reach my mid 80's, I'd like to be able to sit back and reflect on my life and, above all else, be content. Certainly, be happy. But, be content knowing that I made the most of my life. But, not because I travelled a lot, not because I felt more knowledgeable than other people, not because I made more money than other people, or have more than other people, not because I felt more talented than other people, and not because I feel as though I accomplished more than other people. I want to be content knowing I spent as much time as I could with my family . . . and my friends. I want to be content knowing that I was a good husband, a good father, and a good friend to the people I've known. I want to be content knowing that I was thought of as a good person. A fun person. A nice person. And remembered as such when I die.
What the blogs, Twitter, and Facebook have all done is added to the humility I already feel. To know that people actively searched me and took time to send a note . . . is incredibly thoughtful. To think that I've stuck in the memory of someone for so many years. It's nice. It's a nice feeling. It's my desire to do the same for others.
That, to me, is what life is all about.