“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. And when he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
Yesterday’s challenge called for one to live in the present with gratitude. Do not focus on the past for it is done. Do not dream about the $1.5 billion lottery I will win on Saturday. Imagine those gratitude posts! Live now with what is happening now. Enjoy the moment because it is here.
So what happened? Yesterday was hectic. I had several meetings that took more time than anticipated. Issues popped up throughout the day that we unexpected. And there was a funeral. A funeral of a friend who died too young. Trying to be present at a funeral is challenging. It puts perspective on everything. Life is precious. Each day is a gift. And we are so interconnected.
Today’s challenge requires us to focus on cherished memories. Rarely do we understand the value of experience until it has passed. Below, I outline a cherished memory.
In the late spring of 1996, I moved to a new community. One of the first people I met were young married couple about my age. We quickly hit it off and became friends. Less than a month after moving, this couple invited me to go golfing with them on a Saturday. They heard it was my birthday and wanted to make sure it was special. The course is a small tight nine-hole golf course with small greens. We played the first nine holes fairly quickly and decided to play another 9. As we came off the number 3 green, a golf cart driven by a young kid approached us with a note.
The note was for me. The note said “Paramedics called. Call your mom at home.” I jumped in the cart and rode back to the clubhouse (cellphones were not widely used yet). In the clubhouse, I called my mother and learned that my father had unexpectedly passed away.
I drove back to my friends and told them what happened. It’s an awkward moment when you tell friends your dad died. I suspect it’s worse when you are still in your 20s. The wife immediately gave me a big hug. The comfort and calm I felt with that hug was exactly what I needed at that moment. The husband hugged me too but we were 20 something guys and it was awkward..but he meant well. I don’t remember much after that except I left the golf course and drove 30 minutes to my mother’s house.
A few months later this couple would move to a different community. However, our lives would intersect many times. We eventually moved to the same community. We ran into each other at church, social events, and restaurants. Our oldest and their youngest went through confirmation together.
Every time I saw either of them, I remembered that day in 1996 when two people I barely knew, treated me with such care, compassion, and kindness when my father passed. I don’t think I ever thank them for their kindness. Yet, that moment on the golf course is one of my most cherished memories.
Unfortunately, Shannon passed away in March 2021. Yesterday, I went to Lee’s funeral. I hope that Shannon greeted Lee with a big hug when he passed. Both died too young but I will always have that memory of the moment on the golf course. I am grateful for that memory.