Pam and I treated Sarah and the chipmunks to an evening at the carnival by Cool Springs Galleria. The girls were so excited and could hardly contain their joy as they drove into the parking lot. There were bright lights, loud music and carny barkers galore. We walked to the ticket booth and stood behind parents with small children and some middle school aged girls playfully pushing and shoving each other as they waited.

All of a sudden I felt a rush of tears as I stood there. Sarah saw this, and came up to me asking what was wrong. I told her that I was struck with the realization that I would be attending a memorial service for a precious man who had suffered through a long bout with cancer, and I was feeling the weight of his wife and children’s loss just then. It was a juxtaposition of emotion for sure, because the happy sounds all around me, in contrast to the painful parting for a mother and her tenderlings, were sending my heart into a momentary tailspin.

I remember sitting at the memorial service the next day and thinking about what people actually will remember about us when we pass. The reality is, but for the families of the beloved, the departed fade into the back regions of memory quite quickly. We all move on and the intensity of loss dissipates. I’m not saying we totally forget…the family certainly not, but there is an emotional drift away by the rest of us.

It’s a great reminder that we not take abilities, accomplishments or ourselves too seriously. In the end, but for a short span…. no one else will either, whether we’re president or pauper. At some point, as we near the threshold, we’ll be struck with the fact, that at the end of it all, we only have our family, in whatever context that expresses itself…and ultimately…God.

There are many differing world views on this intersection of life’s end, and the hereafter. For people of Christian faith and reckoning is the belief we will rest in the arms of Jesus, assured that He is there in the instantaneous continuum from “mortale” to God’s gloriously unfathomable presence. It is most certainly, my conviction.

In this regard, I try to be purposeful when someone I love, and have lost, comes to mind. I write a two sentence text or e-mail to one of their family that says, “I was thinking about them today… and I miss them. Hope you’re well.” It’s all I write and takes only a moment to accomplish. It’s heartfelt and meant to reassure. It brings me great joy. Not the carnival sort, but joy much deeper….richer. Cheers!!! ❤️

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