Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Life and Death

A strange thing happened on the way home from work today. When I got up this morning, I thought today was going to be like any other. For the most part it was. Accidentally slept later than I wanted, went to work, worked, left work, came home. But, the devil, as they say, is in the details. Coming home I found two places that play soccer, and one that plays volleyball. If I sign up for the volleyball, and one soccer season, I will have elevated my physical activity from nothing to three times a one week. I am looking forward to sports being in my life again, I just hope my body can handle it after having done nothing for so long. That was good news. Then, I bought myself some new indoor soccer shoes. Good news. Missed a phone call from an unknown number, intriguing. When I call my voicemail, I realize that I have two unheard voice messages. One from the missed call, and a late arrival from yesterday.

Turns out that a friend from in Tulsa just found out that she is having a boy. Great news for her, even though she isn't really talking to the father at all right now. She also said that her sister is about to go into labour, (yes I know I just spelled it like a Canadian, deal with it) and so can't come down anytime soon to visit. Bummer. She then proceeded to knock my socks off. After two messages of joy and life, she tells me that another friend just died. A semi-good friend from my Friday's days was shot and killed on Monday night. Her funeral is Saturday, so I have a much busier weekend than I had initially thought, since I will be coming up for it. When I checked the next message, it was from the dead friend's grandma. She was calling everybody that was in Jenny's phonebook and giving them the bad news.

I know (mentally) that death is something that is just around the corner and can play tag with us at any time. I know that almost on a personal level since I thought I was going to die the other day b/c of a stupid driver. "That" is another story, for another time. The thing is, Death seems like it is supposed to hit in 50-60 years, not now. She was only 26 (or so). I fully expected to be able to call her up on a future visist to the Tulsa area and go play some pool while tossing back a couple of cold ones. Now, it won't happen. What makes it even harder is that I "know" she wasn't saved. I will NEVER see her again. Or at least, I will never be able to laugh with her again.

The funny thing is, that is what I actually associate with her. Laughter. It always seemed like she was laughing and smiling. When she went out, she had a GREAT time. If you went to her place, she was always laughing. Granted, she spent almost just as much time bitching about this, that, and the other, but when I bring up a mental picture of her...she is laughing and tossing her hair. And now that is stopped. My heart goes out to her parents and family. It especially goes out to her best friend (the one who called me). Her day of joy was totally ruined by that terrible news. Life, death. "Death is not the period in the sentence of our life. It is the comma between the subject of the present, and the predicate of the never ending future." A quote by somebod who I can't recall. Loosely quoted of course. For her, the "never ending future" is not going to be an enjoyable one. As I listened to Tracy's voice mail, a song started to roll around in my head. Talking about how as one life ends, another begins.

What do you say to Jenny's parents when you see them? They are going through every parent's nightmare. They are having to bury their baby girl. Do you lie and say that she is now in a better place? Do you just say "I am so sorry for you?" Just give them a hug?

To cap off the irony/symmetry of this afternoon, I check on everybody's blogs (something I haven't done in a week or so) and find out others are going through this same thing. My emotions are balanced by great news from my family. My sister got engaged this last weekend and is looking at a late August wedding. You can say this about life, it is always changing.


janiners said...

I'm so very sorry to hear this news. Death is so final - at least in this life. Even for people I don't know that well, it's hard for me to accept that the same combination of everything that made this person who they were will never be repeated and now they are gone.

And I've noticed how most often, life and death are comingled. Some of your friends are facing new life while others are facing the end of another.

I pray you will be an encouragement to the family - whatever God means that to be. And, I'm praying for the family of your friend as they go through this.

thebarefootpoet said...

Wow, what a microcosm of all of life. Good news, bad news, life, death, loss, gain. Hell of a day, mate. Don't tell my wife this weekend about the near death accident, my chances of owning a bike are already slim to none. Thanks for putting all this out there. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a child, it rips my heart to even ever so slightly go there.

LiteratureLover said...

I love that sort-of quote. It is so true how life and death are so interwoven. I'm so sorry about your friend.