Friends and Family

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Death and the Meaning of Life

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  • Neil Armstrong
  • Sarah from church, Earl’s wife
  • Vance Archer’s Father
  • Phyllis Diller
  • Roland Burns, my Father
  • Betty from church’s daughter
  • Mack and Joanne’s grandaughter

All of these folks died in the past month.  Seems like a lot.  Each lead his own life, had his own stories.  Each left family and friends with memories.  And those memories last for no more than three subsequent generations, with the possible exception of Neil who wrote on a far bigger canvas.

I’m not quite sure what I think of all this.  When I was a teenager, I asked my grandfather what he thought of God, what he thought of death.  So he didn’t believe in God.  So what happens when we die?  He felt that we ceased to exist, but that a part of us lived on in his children and grand children.

I’m sure he was right about parts living on, though I would expand it to people we knew, people we influenced.  My great grandfather, his father, loved to read and to sing.  He made sure that all of his kids learned to play instruments.  I remember the treasure of sitting on his lap, being read Uncle Wiggley and Mother West Wind stories.  The warmth and comfort, the mystery of the stories, that is something I will never forget.  And his son, my Uncle Mert, taught me so much about music, really helped define the musician I am.  My children are musicians, each and all.  And each loves to read.  I read to them growing up, much as my great grandfather did to me.  I’m sure that it will be passed down to more generations.

So a part is handed down, through generations, and generations, and generations.

That doesn’t lessen the loss that is felt by us at passing.  And it certainly doesn’t lessen the stories that are lost if they weren’t recorded, written down.  Think of the millions, no billions, of stories that have been lost since the beginning of humanity.  It is staggering.

I guess we each just do the best we can to live our lives fully.  If I can do that and write a few songs, record a few stories, create a few pictures then… If I can influence my family, hopefully by example then….. If I can help a few friends, make a difference in their lives then……..  

Then there is meaning in my life.

Thanks for letting me ramble.  Thanks for helping me find meaning.

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