Sometimes you witness a tragedy or a negative experience in the life of another from afar and it gets you thinking. You think about yourself or a cherished love one experiencing the same situation and you wonder.
Not long ago my friend Paul lost his father. A man he loved, admired, and respected. A man he could genuinely call friend. Paul wrote of his dad "I'm glad I listened to your stories over and over. I wish I could listen to them again." These words have had a powerful affect on me, both in a melancholy and an uplifting way.
Melancholy because I have reached the mid-life stage where I can see the sun starting to set. Whereas once I was invincible and virile and bursting with life and energy, I now break down more easily and am easily sapped of strength. Wrinkles are now apparent. Aches and pains and pills are a daily constant. I have reached the age of my mom and dad when I was a young teenager. Now I am that parent of that (nearly) teenage child. Time marches on toward the inevitable end times.
Uplifting because I would like to think I am and have been the type of father that would elicit similarly heart-felt and loving words from my child when I'm gone. I know I repeat myself to my little one time and again about the people and situations that have impacted my life. When I bring them up for the umpteenth time, my daughter will tend to finish the story for me. I hope that she will eventually understand the message behind my stories, and will gracefully learn how to humor me as I repeat myself yet again, but at the same time will wrap my stories around her like a warm and comforting blanket on a chilly night.