Thursday, November 03, 2005

... when her body became her enemy ...

… and she could no longer do the things she enjoyed …

I attended a funeral yesterday for an old friend of the family. During the eulogy the speaker referred to happy, fun-filled, active and younger days. A life well-lived, in service to many, a teacher who touched many lives and bore children, and lived to see her great-grand-children.

But there came a day when she could no longer do things for herself. What a privilege it is to be able to work and to be productive. To have a sense of satisfaction in work well-done, and to make a contribution in a world larger than ourselves. To be able to make an impact – even if only a small one.

As the procession of cars weaved through the narrow streets of a small south Arkansas town and then moved out to the wide open country spaces, I was reassured to observe almost every car pull off the road and stop. Perhaps this is no longer common in larger cities. But we are too busy if we cannot take that few moments to assess our own purpose and direction, and to consider our own mortality. Not a pleasant thought –– but an important one – to take a brief break and reflect as the funeral procession crosses our path.

I feel like I am constantly at war with my body. There are so many things I want to accomplish, and at the end of each day I’m so tired and I am rarely able to check off even half the things on my to-do list. I have this moment. I will use it – not waste it.

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