It has been a long week. Last week a family friend on my husband's side lost their 27 year old son. He just simply did not wake up in the morning. Mike and some of his family were able to attend the funeral, and they found it very difficult. It was packed with young men in dark suits and sunglasses, red-eyed and solemn. Twenty Seven. Think of how young you were at that age. Think of how young you are now. Twenty Seven is just too young.
On Friday we learned of the death of our dear friends' father. He was 66, one could argue that he led a full and happy life. But he was still too young. He was a sweet, lovely man with a wicked sense of humor. Looking at the pictures of his life yesterday at the wake, the phrase "naughty leprechaun" kept coming to mind.
The only similarity between these two men are the people they left behind. The young man worked with learning disabled adults and his funeral was full of people who loved and would miss him. In his short life he left behind a legacy of love and hard work.
The father of my friends worked for many years in Gary Public Schools and left behind a legacy of love, good teaching and students who were affected by him. But he also left a beautiful, good and loving family. You can tell who he was by his children and grandchildren. They all have a stubborn Irish ability to change the world if they set their minds to it. They all love each other intensely and with great faithfulness. They have chosen professions with little reward and a lot of hard work. This is the kind of legacy a man should leave. His family should all be able to say they are better, they are good versions of themselves because of who their father was.
The Wish to be Generous
All that I serve will die, all my delights,
the flesh kindled from my flesh, garden and field,
the silent lilies standing in the woods,
the woods, the hill, the whole earth, all
will burn in man's evil, or dwindle
in its own age. Let the world bring on me
the sleep of darkness without stars, so I may know
my little light taken from me into the seed
of the beginning and the end, so I may bow
to mystery, and take my stand on the earth
like a tree in a field, passing without haste
or regret toward what will be, my life
a patient willing descent into the grass.