Death touched me in many ways last week- not closely, but sometimes particular deaths hit you harder. None of these deaths were corona related: all were deaths that probably would have happened regardless of the peculiarities of this year. The death I’m going to speak of today has a different sort of point…it just may take awhile for me to get there…

Back in middle school I had a good friend S. (- you will see that for some bizarre reason, I have an abundant amount of S, J and M named friends and acquaintances)

but anyway

So, S was one of my really good middle school friends. At some point in sixth or seventh grade she began dating this guy J. They would continue to date through high school. They broke up when she left for college and he went to the navy.

I hadn’t seen S in about twenty five years when I ran into her at my daughter’s gymnastics lesson. At the time she was a Nanny for a boy attending a make up class. She was on her second marriage at that point ( so was I so I’m not judging just stating fact) and she seemed as happy as anyone else.

After playing catch up, she looked at me and said- “Wonder whatever ever happened to J?”. She sort of had a wistful look at her face and we came up with some scenarios…

About a year or so later, I joined Facebook. When I started to connect with middle school friends, guess who sent me a friend request? J. The very same J that S had been thinking about.

We caught up. He was married. Had a job he really liked. Fixed up cars on the weekends… Guess what one of the first things he said to me was?

“I wonder how S is doing?”

I then regaled him with the story of how I had run into her, blah, blah, blah. He asked if I had a way to contact her. (she hadn’t, and still has not joined the social media revolution)

He seemed really bummed when I told him I didn’t have her email…

A few years ago J had a stroke. He made a solid recovery but wasn’t able to go back to being an EMT.

Last week he suffered a fatal stroke.

The first thing I did when I heard was facebook message the sister of S- I figured that S would want to know…

I don’t know what my point is. Take care of yourself because life is too short?  Just have a great time because life is too short? Tell the people that you love that you love them because life is too short? Don’t tell them because life is too short and you don’t want to ruin what you have?

I don’t know.

Life has thrown way too many curve balls lately.

I’ll leave you with my new code of conduct:

  1. Don’t be afraid to love and be loved
  2. Spend some time prepping for the future, but live your life in the present- no one knows what their timeline is.
  3. A clean house is the sign of a misspent life

55 thoughts on “I Wonder

  1. The past few posts you’ve written have taken me back to the Winter of 2018. I was looking down the barrel @ possible Prostrate Cancer. Needed an expensive biopsy (not the normal ones I’ve had) that required being put out/ Thousands of out of pocket dollars I was going to have to come up with..won’t bore you with all the extenuating details..but in the middle of the craziness, it felt like the ground under my feet was shaking. I felt like I was in the middle of a bad dream, and the people in my life (like @ our extended family holiday gatherings) had no idea what was going on in my inner world. Only two people had a sense of it…my wife and my mom. I found a whole new level of empathy welling up inside of me for others who were dealing with heartache. it stripped away the pretense of a shallow life, I felt free to reach out to a a neighbor whom I didn’t really know all that well, who was in the middle of cancer treatment himself… this testing went on for several weeks, Some people call it brokenness. don’t care what you call it. and I really did feel some of the same things you have been alluding to…expressing love to people more freely, savoring simple things, etc.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m sorry you had to go through all of that. It sucks to feel all that uncertainty. But to the other point, exactly….at any moment life can shift, and it can happen to anyone. All of a sudden our perceptions change…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes your thoughts don’t have to actually make sense. Perhaps it is in the sharing that you find some clarity?
    We waste so much time, don’t we? Worrying about the things. The things are oftentimes irrelevant…
    Spending our time living and loving sounds like a much better way…
    My heart is hugging yours. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I think you have a point. It’s like morning pages…sometimes you need to just get out what’s on your mind and in your heart. Then you can move on

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes ma’am.
        Thoughts and feels are swimming around inside us like weird little fish. Sometimes they tickle, other times they bite. Gotta get those weird little fish out whether or not they’re ready for others.
        I hope writing eased you today ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I especially like number three. I have a friend whose house is always spotless….magazine-cover-but-not-lived-in-spotless…..but she doesn’t seem to have any hobbies or do anything else. I think of the hours and hours she must spend keeping it that way and think…..what a waste! One thing this pandemic has taught me is lower standards – if no one is coming over to visit then what’s a little dust – I’d rather sit outside and read.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Priorities change. I remember my mother telling me when I had my first baby to not stress about cleaning the house so much, my child will never be that age again and you don’t want to miss any of it. As my kids got older we were always on the move to somewhere so what little time we had at home was not spent cleaning. Although my kids had chores that they had to do on Saturday before they were allowed to go anywhere. Now that my kids are gone, I find I don’t mess it up as fast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always said that dust is patient and will wait for you. Your posts about existence — who we are, our purpose, duration of life, and quality of life — these are the time-honored questions of the human condition. Did you know that you were a philosopher having philosophical discussions? It is knowing we have a finite amount of time that urges us to do today because there may not be tomorrow. Otherwise, we die in regret. Who wants that? Mona

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for inflating my ego just a little more than yesterday….😆and to your point, I did just finish a book about the meaning of life, in digestible format, and I actually didn’t really think about how much it impacted my thoughts. Wow. 💗

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is slightly unrelated but still along the same lines. One thing that I keep coming back to in all the social media fighting between ‘friends’ and family over masks and politics and racism, you gotta pull yourself back and hit REFRESH, and remember that person is not the enemy. I mean in most cases anyway. I feel like very few people are my enemy , even if we disagree on big things. I really appreciate the ones who take the time to discuss things and seek understanding and I feel like we get closer. It can also go the other way and that makes me sad. In the chaos, as the Bible says, LOVE can bring peace, healing, calm and hope. So, as you said, live your life and love people. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Death has a way of forcing us to seriously evaluate our lives. We all know it’s inevitable, but it’s always somewhat of a shock when it happens to someone we know….especially someone that same age as we are. Entrepreneur and my worldview is, “live with the end in mind” (based on Ecclesiastes) This mindset guides thoughts and attitudes, and impacts choices and actions. I love your Code of Conduct. My variation of #3 is: A clean desk is the product of a frightened mind.” 🙃 Take care and thank you for always posting such though-provoking thoughts. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Things like your story just seem to take on more meaning during the pandemic and the riots. Everything seems “more” and at the same time “less.” Most days I feel kind of like I am trying to balance on a board that is on top of a ball.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I hired a cleaning lady simply so I could enjoy my hobbies and have a clean house. I think about how much time my mom stressed over her house and for what? That was her hobby I guess. I think my hobbies make me happier than hers did!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know so many people who stopped their lives to clean. At what cost? I don’t know anyone who goes to their grave saying boy, I wish I’d mopped the floor more….

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This one struck a cord with me! Thinking of all the people I’ve lost touch with over the years but still think about. Letting the ones right in front of me know how much I care is a so important, because you are right, life is short, love big! C

    Liked by 1 person

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