I hope that some of the people randomly and briefly surfing this weblog through Blog Explosion will find the lead interesting enough to click on a link or two, and maybe even spend more than 30 seconds here.
As I surf various blogs, I find one, which seems to be nothing but memories of deceased famous people. It seems strange to me. I find another blog dedicated to the loving memory of a sister who died a year and a half ago in a tragic car accident. This one is much more real to me.
I did not intend to write two posts in such quick succession to one another about death, but that is the way life, and death, sometimes is.
There is an old joke that goes, “How do you make God laugh? Make plans.” I think it is important to remember this as we make our New Years resolutions. Five years ago, I was the director of technology for a very successful financial institution. Year 2000 was a big concern. I did not expect the massive disruption that some people feared, but I did need to go into the office on New Years day to make sure everything was working properly. With the exception of one report we got from a counter party with the date, January 1, 19100, everything seemed to be working fine.
New Years Day 2000. I was putting my life back together after a painful divorce. I had met a new woman, who I would end up proposing to and marrying in the year 2000. Her mother just died a few months earlier and the grief was still quite strong, but everything looked upbeat. We were putting our lives back together and I was making lots of money.
“This doesn’t look like heaven.” That’s what Fiona said as she approached Auntie Anna’s casket at the wake the other day. We had explained to Fiona that Auntie Anna had gone to heaven. Yet, there was Auntie Anna’s body in this strange looking bed surrounded by flowers.
We told Fiona that this wasn’t heaven. That all that she was seeing was Auntie Anna’s body, which Auntie Anna didn’t need anymore. You could see the gears spinning in Fiona’s head as she tried to make sense of it all. She reached out and patted Auntie Anna’s arm. Motionless, Auntie Anna looked like a life-sized doll.
I hate using superlatives. They are too absolute. There must always be something better. Yet this Christmas seemed like a superlative Christmas to me.
Perhaps some of it comes from the back drop. I remember studying aesthetics and learning the importance of the background, the negative space, the contrast against which the picture appears. To a certain extent, that is why the advent reflection about putting Herod back in Christmas was so appealing to me. In a wonderful world, it is too easy to lose sight of what is special around us.