Saturday, July 09, 2011
I heard the words in my title today at the funeral of a family member.
When I was 16, my Mom remarried to this absolutely wonderful man, and I gained a new family, a REALLY big family of Aunts, Uncles, cousin, and a new Grandma. My Mom and Dad have been married almost twenty five years now, and I have been truly blessed. There have been some losses along the way, Grandma is gone and two of Dad's sisters, a couple of Uncles who were married to Dad's other sisters, but they were older and ill. My cousin wife, I'll refer to her as J, was a seemingly healthy 38 year old who collapsed suddenly and passed away while on a trip to the Philippines. J's death has hit the family really hard. I wasn't best buds, we didn't see each other more than twice a year at family gatherings, but there was something about her. You knew when she was around, because you could always hear her laugh. J was with my cousin since her junior year in high school and I still have a hard time knowing that when I see Him, she won't be there.
The Pastor that presided over the funeral gave a talk titled, "Live With a Purpose, Love With a Passion" that I found very moving, and very descriptive of J. J was born in Hawaii, lived in the Philippines, and came back to Hawaii when she was High School aged. J told a friend that her dream was to get an education, have a good job, become a wife, and have a family. That was her purpose, and she was passionately devoted to her family. The Pastor also mentioned the poem, "The Dash" by Linda Ellis. The dash (-) between a persons birth date and death date represents the life lived. For some, that dash is a very long time, for others it is a blink of and eye, and what is important is the kind of life, hopefully a life "lived with purpose and loved with a passion". If I were gone tomorrow, how would my "dash" be seen?
I am going to do my best to Live With a Purpose, Love With a Passion.
As a footnote, I had to force myself to take my walk today. I was physically and emotionally drained, and I knew if I didn't go straight up and change clothes and walk out that door, I wouldn't. It would also make it that much easier the next time I had a hard-bad-long day to make an excuse. So I changed, grabbed my iPod and water, and walked out the door. I was thinking about J as I walked, just reminiscing, and planning a tribute I wanted to post, when I realized I was at the halfway point. I like to think a part of her spirit was pushing me on, helping find my purpose, at least for today.