Thursday, June 30, 2016

Too Many Departures

While nothing has been as difficult as the loss that we experienced early last year, there have been moments since then that have forced me to stop for a minute and think about the people that have been a part of my life, large and small, over the years. I found myself going through this process once again when I received an email about the passing of a fellow Rotarian’s wife. Oddly enough, I had just seen him last week and, by the end of the meeting, wondered why I hadn’t asked how his family was doing as I normally would have. I guess even these seemingly inconsequential lapses happen for a reason.

I recall meeting his wife a couple of times in the past at Rotary functions and I recall having some very interesting discussions with her on a variety of subject. It was safe to say that there were a number of topics that we didn’t agree on but I remember having a pleasant conversation during which it was abundantly clear that I was discussing these subjects with a highly intelligent and informed woman. I guess you could say that she and her husband were very similar in that regard.

This loss is only one of many that has happened over the past year or so from those that I remember fondly seeing nearly every day in high school as was the case with the passing of my homeroom teacher and other times there are people that I had either met only a few times or that I had only corresponded with through letters, emails, or over the phone. Each time I was brought back to those discussions and encounters leaving me wondering why I hadn’t picked up the phone or wrote them a letter lately. I guess it is normal to think about the conversations you never had rather than the ones you did.

Of course, then there are the family members who have passed before I had a chance to talk to them or even really got to know them. Admittedly, there is a little selfishness in this thought but it also speaks to the unexpected, and potential, impact of those who have passed. While this has unfortunately been happening for years, it is a regular occurrence even today. However, the same lesson applies here as well… I need to do a better job of keeping in touch and reaching out to friends and family members. After all, as has been proven time and again, you never know how long you really have.