Yesterday took me from familiar routines and brought me to two celebrations.
One was a celebration of a life well lived and a life that will be sorely lost. An extended family member died and I gathered with about 100 people, give or take, to pay respects to this man's close family members and friends. I wanted to be there because this man had touched my family with his sense of humor, strength, commitment, kindness, intelligence, and care. What I took away was the need for all of us to make time to be together in times of sorrow and sadness; to stay close when suffering strikes. I also left the ceremony with a powerful reminder of what love can do for a family.
Then much later in the day I attended the wedding of a long time family friend. I grew up with the groom's family The wedding took place in my childhood church and neighborhood. Memories flooded me as I sat in that familiar church and saw the faces of so many that I attended grammar school with so many years ago. It was a bright, crisp fall day which also helped to make my memories vivid since we enjoyed so many great fall days on Indian Hill playing in the fields and forests collecting nuts, building forts, taking bike rides, swinging at the school playground, and climbing trees.
After the ceremony, my husband and I took the scenic drive through the countryside to the reception inn. There we danced, exchanged stories, had a great meal, and laughed a lot.
It was a day when sadness and happiness collided as we attended the funeral to say good-bye to a good man then later attended a wedding to congratulate a new couple.
Family, friends, and lots of love were the key components of both events, events that has me thinking a lot about how to reinvigorate the wonderful ties I have to so many past, present, and future friends and family members.
Many years ago when I sat at a table of high powered people at Google in California, each person shared what was most precious to them. By far family and friends took priority which makes me think that if that is what matters most, do we spend enough time as individuals, communities, and a nation nurturing that as our most valued resource. What do you think?