Young, strong, beautiful, all four of them. The best of the best. Our protectors. Full of life and passion and courage. And now gone. I feel desperate to somehow make it stop - to beg the universe to spare these ones, our future. But it is, and always has been, the way of our human world. We are born, we create, we destroy and we die. Some of those deaths are untimely, like these four. Some are far too late.
And then, at the other end of the pendulum swing, I listen to my friend talk about her husband of 44 years, now in his early 70s, diagnosed last year with dementia. She is walking through a reverse dating process with him as he gradually forgets the woman that he pursued relentlessly over four decades ago until she took his hand. Their plans for travel together after they retired have evolved to a quiet life near the beach. But she says they've had a good life, a good time together, and she will be strong. Her friends ask her why she isn't freaking out and she says because somebody has to make sure he knows it's ok. Everything is ok, even as he loses touch with what is real and lives in a world of long-acquainted strangers. She is a rock.
Life is so beautifully short and fragile. I want to gather the ones I love up close to me and never let them out of my sight, but then that short life would be lost in worry and false and ineffective control. So I will let them live, bigly and beautifully, the lives they want, to find joy in the time they are given and I will be grateful for the moments and days and years that I am a part of that joy.
Love your people. Love your life. Chase joy hard because soon enough, one way or another you won't have that option. And that is a good thing, since if it went on forever it would lose its rarity and value. Maybe time running out is a gift...