A few weeks ago my sister Colleen suddenly passed away. The night after gathering with family and friends to celebrate her life I received a call late at night that Master Anderson, my Tae Kwon Do teacher and friend, passed away. His was not unexpected like my sister’s death. He died of cancer. My sister died while attending a quilting retreat. She was 64 and loved her children and grandchildren and they loved her. Here are a few of the words I shared at the gathering to celebrate her life.
“I write these words as I am working on the video presentation of Colleen’s life. A line from a TV series, the West Wing, comes to mind that they borrowed from Tom Hank’s Academy Awards acceptance speech. ‘The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels. We know their names. They finally rest in the warm embrace of the gracious creator of us all. A healing embrace that cools their fevers, that clears their skin, and allows their eyes to see the simple, self-evident, common sense truth that is made manifest by the benevolent creator of us all.'”
As I reflect on these two lives, people who were dear to me, I am reminded how important life, friends and family are. You only get one shot at it. Live life to the fullest. Love deeply those whom God has given you as family or friends.
Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 “Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse you love each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it, for there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think in the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.” The Message