Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Day of Extreme Emotions

Today is a day that I will long remember. My son, Rick, turned 21. Dinner with the family was at Destihl Restaurant and Brew Works. Rick started off drinking a bloody mary on an empty stomach, then ordered a flight of beers.
He waited on most of the beer until his food came. Used good judgment, eh?

Afterwards, we went back home for a little birthday cake. Rick wanted a carrot cake, and my wife's first from-scratch attempt was a tasty masterpiece.
So it seemed that all was well and good in the world. We were certainly a far cry away from the horrid day just over five years ago when Rick was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. After a successful operation at the Mayo Clinic, he has been cancer free for over five years. For that we are extremely thankful.

I was reminded today of something a resident of my hometown stated on Facebook sometime in the past two years. I had never met the man, but he frequently posted about things in the hometown, the past, family ... you know the routine. Then one day he stopped posting. Friends found out that his twin sons were involved in a serious auto accident. One son died and the other was horribly hurt. I am not sure of that son's status.

After several people posted notes of sympathy and the offering of prayers, the man finally made a post. In it he said something that has stuck with me ever since. He said something to the effect of "Your life can be rolling along, and then suddenly -- in an instant -- everything can change."

This morning I received a phone call from my good friend John who shared some horrible news: Another friend named Brian, who had been the best man at my wedding and with whom I recently reconnected on Facebook after more than twenty years, was in Brazil with his wife to attend a wedding of someone in her family. Brian's stepdaughter was to fly from the U.S.A. and meet them in Brazil. Unfortunately, she was the victim of domestic violence and was strangled to death by her live-in boyfriend. Brian's wife, who had gone to Brazil to share in a family wedding, now had to immediately return home to bury her daughter.

This is not the first time that Brian has had to deal with violence in his life. When Brian was young, his father was the victim of a brutal ax attack. Although his father recovered and lived for several years after the attack, significant brain damage was done, changing his personality from a kind man to one people sought to avoid. Talk about cruel twists of fate.

So even though I was happy to celebrate my son's 21st birthday, I was a sad man today, thinking of my friend, a gentle man who has had to endure more pain in his life than is fair or that I could ever even imagine.

"In an instant -- everything can change." Let's remember to appreciate what we have today, for there are no guarantees for tomorrow.


Blogger ~Coach said...


2:14 PM  

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