~How are you supposed to feel sitting in a hospital in which your best friend is having cancer removed?
~How are you supposed to handle the news of someone close to you leaving–whether by death or simple separation of geography on Earth?
~How difficult is it to stand in front of a room full of people harmonizing the emotion of love when it’s hardly something you think you yourself believe in?
~How do you kneel beside a memorialized crash site in which two young, vibrant people died 48 hours prior without weeping because remnants of their being were left behind in the burned soil?
~How do you respond to the 17 year old sister that’s never had to confront death, aside from her 87 year old grandmother’s, when she is asking you to make sense to her “God’s Will”?
~How do you, at age 23, explain why bad things happen to good people when you don’t even understand the notion yourself?
~When you visit the 87 year old man on the respirator you called Uncle your entire life, how can you be there without feeling guilty for the time you could have given or the phone call you thought about but never made when he was healthy–a man that watched you grow up, encouraged golf and even made me one of my first sets of golf clubs?
I chastised the sound of my 5:30AM alarm clock the other morning only to remember all too quickly that I should be thankful to have a 5:30 alarm to wake up to as my mind abruptly recalled the immense realities that have been life these past two weeks. The above questions plague me and will continue too as I freely admit that I don’t have the answers…not at 23, though I can state quite confidently that I will not have the answers twenty years from now either, nor the twenty following that.
One thing I do know is that the unexamined life is not worth living. It’s been one hell of a year–with the learning of lessons that I never in my life wanted to learn, mostly due to the fact that they were learned the hard way. However, awful experiences such as these cause one to examine their own life in all of its macro and micro ways and that’s what I have felt compelled to do with my own in the hopes that my past mistakes can be laid to rest and my future decisions be not made out of selfish desires, but rather for the common good and well-being of all. In the words of Trevor McKinney, “Pay It Forward.” This thing called life wasn’t promised to be easy; it was only promised to be worth it–we as humans are simply challenged to make it so.
After the awful visits to the funeral home and crash site Tuesday, my sister and I went to the hospital. Death is inevitable but so also is birth which gives way to life. In the window of the nursery we peered through were a newborn baby boy and baby girl. There is, of course, NEVER a substitution for any life but there is always new life to inspire a hope and faith for better and wiser lived tomorrows.
May Jack Amos and Amy Stringer rest peacefully in God’s loving arms. Their stories will be forever carried in memory; their influence forever cherished in hearts all over. Even in death they are “paying it forward” so those of us that are still here can be better.