The father of my best friend in grade school passed away from cancer and the funeral was today. Patty and I still connect a few times a year (not enough) and each time we do, it’s like we just talked yesterday, one of those rare connections that doesn’t fade with time. I’ve been reflecting a lot about the people and places that we grew up with and in – the neighborhood.
On the way to the funeral, I drove by our grade school passing the parking lot where we played kick ball and the faded sign of Haag’s Superette where Patty and I would stop and get a Heath bar. Random and vivid thoughts that hadn’t come to mind in years… playing jacks; bowling; roller skating; dodge ball; Dr. Pepper; whoopee cushions; solving math problems on the chalk board in a race style format with Patty beating each of us and Colleen laughing too hard to even start. I can’t believe it’s been over 35 years since I was that kid in the parking lot trying to kick the red rubber ball over the fence. Time is moving and we don’t know how fast until we stop and think about it.
Colleen came in from out of town and stayed at my house last night and we spent hours talking – some about the past but mostly about now. Laughing and reconnecting like no time had passed by at all. Same thing when we saw Mary Ann at the funeral.
This week reminded me of a few important things:
- The depth of pain when we lose those we love most and the importance of showing up to give support and share in the pain and shed tears with and for a friend;
- A renewed appreciation for the people I grew up with who shaped who I am today;
- The value of each day and the accumulation of moments that make up a life that we celebrate and honor when we’ve spent our time here;
And finally, the importance of giving and taking the most out of each day as we live out priorities that give true meaning to a life lived well.