Monday Morning Musings

Posted on June 29, 2020 under Monday Morning Musings with 3 comments

 

Tom and mom. Two people who continue to inspire me

 

“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever. The goal is to create something that will.”

Chuck Palahniuk

I try my best not to watch too much television but during the pandemic, my guess is that most of us have watched more t.v. than we have in some time. The news is dominated with heavy doses of Covid-19 reporting, systemic racism issues (north and south of the border) and the endless circus of politics in many countries. Occasionally we catch a glimmer of hope amid the seeming endless chaos and despair with stories of hope, compassion, and love.

CBC’s The National, has a short segment at the end of many of their nightly newscasts featuring the life of someone who had died of the virus. Last week I saw the story of man whose roots are in India who taught school in Nova Scotia for many years. His son spoke lovingly and proudly of his amazing dad who threw himself into numerous charitable endeavors in retirement. When asked, in his 80s, why he kept such a frenetic pace. He responded that he had one life to live and planned to get the most out of it. The son feels inspired to carry on with this same attitude.

Last fall, I ventured up north to teach. I was dealing with some personal issues and arrived in a community that has had its share of trauma. I don’t mind admitting that I struggled mightily. Three people kept me (relatively!) grounded during the most difficult days when darkness enveloped me and bitter winter winds blew.

Very often I thought of my late mother. Quit wasn’t a word found in her vocabulary. There were many days that I thought I couldn’t go on. Mom would be sitting on my shoulder telling me to “finish what you start.” Perched on the other shoulder, was my late brother Tom. I would think to myself, “What would Tom do?” I knew damn well what he would do. He would throw himself into the situation with every fiber of his being.

The third leg of my three- legged stool was my brother in Vancouver who called me every Saturday to listen to my ranting.

Dying is mysterious business. Most of us by now have experienced death firsthand in our family or extended family. Those of us left behind are tasked with processing death in our own unique way.

I must say that I intensely dislike the way the term “closure” is bandied about by so many people. I looked up this word and found the following: Closure means being normal, getting back to your old self, no longer crying or being affected by death. It means moving on with life and leaving the past behind, even to the extent of forgetting it or ignoring it.

To all that I say a resounding BULLSHIT.

I believe that the greatest way to honor a loved one is to not only remember them but to emulate them. Take all their positives and carry their spirit forward. They have given us a parting gift, one that we eagerly unwrap each and every day… a form of re-gifting, without having to use wrapping paper! They give us courage when we are fearful. They lift us up when we fall. They give us energy when we feel that we can’t take another step. They make us laugh when we feel sad.

During my brother’s 10 -year siege with cancer he often said that he wasn’t afraid of dying. He was afraid of not living. He squeezed every ounce out the final decade of his life.

To honor those who have gone before me…

I hope to do more and give more.

I want to be a difference maker even in the smallest of ways.

I want to be positive and cheerful.

Care to join me?

“I guess it’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you,

It’s what you leave behind you when you go.”

Three Wooden Crosses – Randy Travis

Have a great week.

 

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Comments

3 Responses to Monday Morning Musings

  1. Yvonne Lynch says:

    Well said Len! When Fr. Syd Mifflen was dying, he said to me one day – don’t be sad, I know where I’m going. I’m not going to heaven because I’m good – but because God is good. That thought keeps it all in perspective for me. When the difficulties of living get to be so hard sometimes that I just want to give up, I hear him say that and know that I can continue to keep on trying.

  2. Your thoughts mirror ours exactly. The Sisterhood is definitely on the same page and Betty Would Love That!

  3. Peter says:

    Teresa is very proud of her boy. Even now you are leaving a significant gift for others to unwrap.
    Take care Len

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