Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Celebration of Life

A couple of months ago we attended a Celebration of Life after a friend’s dad had passed away. It was a beautiful event with a great display of pictures and memorabilia depicting this gentleman’s life – his childhood, his education, his family, his professions. Friends, family and neighbors crowded into the room enjoying the camaraderie, sharing memories and catching up – the only thing missing was the honoree. I remember looking around and thinking, Wouldn’t he have loved to be here? I was saddened, too, because that day I learned more about his work and his passions than I’d ever known when he was alive. Wouldn’t it have been nice to be able to discuss some of that information with him? To hear his version of the stories being told?

Last night we attended another Celebration of Life. Like the other, this event was complete with a display of photos and memorabilia from the person’s life, with family and friends gathered together – including some who came long distances to be there. The difference between the two, though, was that the honoree was not dead. No, far from it! This honoree threw the party herself in honor of entering her octogenarian years and with the idea that if there was going to be a celebration of her life, she wanted to be around to enjoy it! I like her attitude.

We’re admonished to live life in the present, to use the good china, to enjoy the day we’ve been given, but what about also enjoying those around us, those we care about now, today? I know I did this well with my parents and I do it well with my very immediate family, but I don’t think I’ve taken full advantage of those who it’s more difficult to connect with because of time or distance or what seem like higher priority commitments. I think I’ll make this term, a celebration of life, a mantra of sorts to remind me to not only enjoy each of my own days, but to also make the effort to enjoy, to connect with, to celebrate life, with those around me, those I care about, those I would like to know better – now, today, while we’re all around to enjoy it!

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