My best friend Julie is very much on my mind today as she prepares to bury her brother, who died after fighting cancer for several years. Her mother and sister are both in care homes, and David had managed their affairs for years since he lived close by.
Another local friend lost her mother a few weeks ago -- not an unexpected death, but the actuality of it is always more of a shock than we think it will be.
And then another friend sent me this today: A Parent's Wish. Oh, it is fairly schmaltzy, backed by Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up," which can make me puddly most any day, but the message resonated with me more today than it might have other days.
Life is a cycle, folks, a circle.
You might remember the not-so-great attempt at making a musical version of Lost Horizon some years back. There was a song -- written by Burt Bacharach -- titled "The world is a circle without a beginning..."
Disney said it in the Lion King's Circle of Life. Shakespeare wrote it in As You Like It, about the seven stages of man. Literature, art and music are full of philosophies, pontifications, heart-warming and heart-wrenching stories. It is a universal theme, this life journey of ours.
We have beginnings and endings in our lives, but we become part of that great continuum of life, that circle. When we are able to awaken to that reality of our lives as journey, we are able to more fully appreciate and experience it, all the joys, all the sorrows, and perhaps to see the beautiful symmetry of our places on that great wheel.
The stupid video made me cry -- for my parents, for my daughters, for Julie, for her brother and his children, for me.
And it again reminded me that this existence is finite: what we make of our life is our choice. How we experience our days is our choice. Even in the most routine, most mundane tasks, there can be beauty, satisfaction, great joy in just simply noticing how our bodies move, how a glowing evening sky makes us feel, what emotion is evoked in us by hearing a simple 'hello' from one we love.
Do not simply exist through the days, friends. Be present in your moments. It is all we have.