We just had a loss in our family, unexpectedly. My husband’s first cousin died of a heart attack. Of all the family members we might have expected to have some health issue, it was not him.
Ron appeared to be the model of health.
He was tall, fit, younger looking than his 67 years. He had 3 sons, a wife of 30 years and was one of the most likable and giving people you’d ever meet. My husband Phil and Ron grew up together.
Ron’s sudden death stunned everyone. Phil went to Jacksonville, Florida to attend the funeral and came home saddened, shaken.
Meanwhile, our daughter Alexa had been asking Phil if he wanted to drive down to see the eclipse next week in Tennessee or South Carolina.
“I don’t want to do that”, he told me when he got home. “I feel like crawling in a hole.”
Understandable. That’s how we feel when we suffer a loss, a setback. Life feels tentative; something we can’t count on. We close down. It feels like the sun is blocked in our lives.
The thing is, Phil told me about all the wonderful stories he and others told at Ronnie’s funeral; stories about marathon monopoly games and adventure road trips; stories that made them laugh and cry. The most memorable moments of everyone’s experience with Ronnie were celebrated.
I felt the loss too, as Phil shared stories I’d never heard before.
“No”, he said. “I don’t want to drive anywhere.”
Ron had his heart attack in a car. He was the same age as Phil.
“Your daughter is asking you to make a memory with her”, I reminded Phil. ” You’re going to see and share a once in a lifetime event. I’m sure you’ll never forget this experience if you go. I wish I could go with you.”
It’s really all we have, isn’t it? I mean, it’s really all that’s important, at least that’s what I think. Experiences we share, memories we make, who we love.
It’s what makes us feel alive.
We are all going to share the eclipse of the sun experience in different ways depending on where we are and who we’re with.
We will all share something that reminds us nature takes its course. Like it or not.
But we can decide, every single day, as long as we have breath, if we are going to live a life full of adventures and giving and making memories.
A life well lived. A total eclipse of the sun. We stand in awe of both.
Phil and Alexa are making plans to hit the road.