I never said this when I was young. Especially in high school. Then comes the 50+ year reunion. Darick, our son dying at 31, my brother, Craig, in late 20's, a war hero; they didn't say it. But I did after they passed; "Life is short, life is hard, life is unfair, and it's end is uncertain."
I should add, to return the smiles to reunion bliss, maybe in bold type, too, "life can be wondrous and full.
All these years, all these trails, all these adventures. They passed so quickly. Mike, Roger, Ronnie, Bobby, Sharon, Johnny, Coach Sisca, and all the folks I didn't remember well until the stories from back yonder came alive again. Could they--the stories and the classmates--be this old?
And what interesting lives. Some not. BUT . . .
All short, all hard, all dealt various "bad hands" unfairly. Though it's closer than Capo High '58, life's end is uncertain when time is the measure. As to eternity, when time ends and forever begins, uncertainty is replaced by a holy clarity and confidence for a few, with anxious wondering by the many.
One star football mate spent all 50 years in the little coastal valley of San Juan Capistrano as a...well, a "regular guy". Nothing spectacular except serving his family and the community. Another team mate was a Hollywood director with two homes. One lived in Dubai, one still travels the world photographing sailing yachts. Another lives in Mexico and just adopted an infant reflected in uncommon joy on a 70 year old face that, strangely, didn't look all that different from back then. The psychiatrist reminded me of our designing a new geometry system for a math project. Roger's "A" (and my tagalong "A") drug me to momentary mathematical glory. Boy, did that fade quickly!
Hard? Doesn't show in the happy reunion faces. But the countless divorces, the deaths of children, family and friends, the struggles for well-being in our younger lives sadly revisited by current recessional chaos. Too bad about Eve (or was it Adam?) tripping us up in the Garden
"What's it all about, Alfie?"
Worth a ponder. "Short" and and "uncertain ending," now takes center stage in our psyches. "Finishing well" is now on the minds of these almost-very-old high schoolers. ("Elderly" is still a group out of reach. Walkers and bibs are required.).
Reunion and the short life. Yep, reunions were designed, I'm sure, in Heaven where the Great Reunion will take place. They are a reminder.
It takes me to my consceousness of cancer. Ju
st the potential of a shortened life re-frames the "finishing well" mandate of life the Apostle Paul gave to young Timothy. (At the risk of a long post, I will paste the sobering scripture below). Finish well for me is to finish writing Generational Fathering to upgrade and encourage other fathers and grandfathers to take seriously their never rescinded assignment from God as father to their children. Yes, the ones we sparkle over as we "strut" iPods photos. They are also the ones we nurture for the legacy that will bear our imprint into the future. My booksite for Generational Fathering
and my GENDADS
DIAblog are (may I say?) darn good reads if you are a reader and ponderer. And if you're not, even quick looks can be enjoyable, maybe provocative.
6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return.
Labels: death, eternity, finishing well, God, Heaven, life, life's journey, reunion