|Posted by ruthsmithmeyer-com on September 23, 2010 at 6:18 PM|
On our vacation this summer, within a week, we were three times, confronted with the fragility of life. Most notable, a man who had become a friend over the years, came to take my husband out for the day. He had become one of the welcome components in our visits to Alberta. The two men had started out the lane, but then returned to do one more thing. Within fifteen minutes, our friend died. We quickly called 911. In less than twenty minutes the ambulance, rescue vehicle, fire truck and three police cars descended at our son’s property, but their valiant efforts were in vain.
Questions raced through our minds. What if he had died before he came to spend the day with my husband? He would have died alone, his wife away for the day. What if he had died while driving—if he hadn’t come back for that one thing? That held bigger implications. We were poignantly reminded again-- that which divides life here and the life beyond is but a gossamer curtain.
The week before, a couple not far advanced in years to what we were, never arrived to their destination. Their travel van was found burned out. Two days after the death of our friend, we were also on our way from Alberta to Vancouver. It seemed we had barely started when, at Golden, B.C., we directed off the highway into parking lots for a two and a half hour wait. There had been a horrible accident up ahead. Two people lost their lives. The people at the service station and Tim Horton’s told us that the day before, in almost exactly the same place, three others had perished. Because of our close connection to one death already that week, we felt the present ones more keenly--they heighted our awareness of each moment of our days. The beauty we encountered driving through the mountains seemed even more breath-taking and exquisite; the time with family and friends in that week doubly precious.
Those experiences also nudged us to a further acceptance of living one day at a time and doing so as fully as possible—planning as though we’re going to live a long time, but ready to let go at a moment’s notice.
Not so long after we came home, I was given the book that I just reviewed in my “I’ve been reading” page. It seemed an appropriate and fitting time for it to come into my life. Please take a moment to read that too, and if you haven’t read it, try to get a copy. It is full of good information.