Views From The Cottage by Melanie Martyn
A ‘CHIP’ OFF….
Recently, I attended a funeral for a good friend’s brother. I didn’t know him well but wanted to pay my respects in support of my friend and to show the family he had made an impression on me with just one short visit. It was the third time in the last two months that I had attended services for a sudden loss. No matter the age, it is a difficult time and the Celebration of Life after is always a great opportunity to get to know their family and friends. You get to hear the personal memories and stories of ‘way back when’ and ‘if he were here now’. It was a very large gathering.
What really made an impression on me was the service I attended at the church for this upstanding, 82-year-old, youthful man. He was active in his church, a rock for his family and an example to all who knew him. The priest performing the Requiem Mass, knew him very well and was able to provide a colourful description of their interactions over the years. What really stood out to me was his mention of that fateful day likened to a type of maturity date when you would be welcomed ‘home to the Father’.
My mind wandered to the idea of an ‘expiry date’ as we all have one. I’m not afraid of my expiry date at all, but I’m certainly in no hurry to see it as a ‘coming soon’! Many do fear this fateful time and it is a good thing we have other things to think about in the here and now.
Last week I was working on some lattice on my deck. My nail-gun jammed for the third time, and I was so perplexed that I took a step back to see what the heck was going wrong. My right foot stepped into thin air and down I went, reaching for anything to stop the fall. No such luck as I banged my right knee, scraped the left one and bounced onto my butt! From there I flung backwards where my back connected with the corner of a concrete block sitting innocently on the ground. That’s the short version of the calamity but because I’m a ‘rubber-made’ senior, I bounced right up saying “I’m ok, I’m ok” (stumble stumble)! I took a breather and was able to move around but by the next morning it was a different picture. If you’ve ever seen anyone twisting a Rubik’s cube, that is a good likeness of me trying to get out of the bed! I managed to drive myself to the hospital for x-rays and a prescription. It only hurts when I think of how stupid I was to fall in the first place. It could have been a lot worse if that piece of concrete was to connect just a little bit higher and well, it may have turned out to be my fateful day. Guess I’m a ‘chip’ off the old block now; pun intended Chip!
Getting back to the service I attended, what really came to mind is the fact that we are all so very lucky to be in the here and now. I like to think of it as the ‘best before date’ and we are to be fully in the present; joyfully thankful that we have this time to celebrate life with all it’s ups and downs. To breathe is life and though I can’t take a full breath at this time (oh the pain when I laugh…or cry…or sneeze), I am expanding my perspective on what is really important. Family, friends, pets, and service to others is where its at. I can only hope to make half the impression on my sphere of influence that Robert (Chip) Terry made on the lives of his family, friends and anyone who came to know him. Till we all meet again…you are truly missed.