Life is interesting isn't it? Mine sure is, if only from my own perspective. Things happen all around that affect me; that stir me. Things like this:
My two fine sons are currently breathing Southern California air. They are participating in the international DECA (it stands for Distributive Educational Clubs of America, I believe...look it up) event taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center. Essentially, it's the equivalent to making it to 'Nationals' in a sporting event, only this is a business and marketing event. It's a big deal! They are young men of character and intelligence and they make me SO PROUD!
A friend of mine died this past Sunday of Gall bladder cancer. He was only 38. From the time the cancer was detected until his passing was all of ten weeks. He wasn't a close friend, but a guy that I always looked forward to seeing and talking to. He was infectiously kind and funny. I saw him for the last time Saturday. There was a 'pep rally' for him in his front yard. Friends and family came with balloons and banners for him to see as his wife wheeled him out on the deck. He listened as one by one, people told stories and encouraged him and made him smile. As the time came to go, everyone let their balloons go simultaneously. Letting go was hard. It was sad. It was sweet. It tore me up. The funeral is this Saturday.
Today as I delivered to a doctor's office I noticed a little friend of mine sitting alone in the waiting room. I've written about her before. She's a delight! I asked her, "Don't you have a birthday coming up?" She quickly smiled and said, "I don't do birthdays anymore, I've had way too many! Some days are better than others, but that's always been true hasn't it?", she said, as if she knew I was about to ask how she was. "So", I said, "if you still did do birthdays, which one would this be?" "A hundred and three", she said quietly. But then without hesitation she added, "if you're planning on stopping by, bring your picnic basket because I don't do parties either!" and then she smiled a wry smile...She's just plain beautiful.
I have a friend that I talk to for a couple of minutes everyday as I deliver to the high school office. We've been friends for a long while. We commiserate about being single parents in times like these. Her road is tough. She's been battling with her 17 year-old daughter who had a baby at the beginning of the school year. Seventeen is a hard age anyway--without a baby. Today my friend wasn't there to sign for the packages so I texted her to ask if everything was okay. The message came back: 'the baby has pneumonia, we are at the ER'. Will you please pray for us?' To which I simply replied, 'of course'. Later this evening she thanked me for praying and that the baby was doing better. I am relieved.
So you see, I am blessed by God to know what it's like to be a proud dad; to know the ache of sadness in the passing of a life too soon; to see the story of beauty written on the face of a woman; to lift weight off of a friend's shoulders by passing it on to God. To me, this is what makes life interesting...to be blessed like that.