A good friend of mine said fare the well to his 94 year old grandfather this week. His dad’s dad lived a full, rich and meaningful life knowing the deep satisfaction that comes from life’s great commitments.
A tail gunner in the 2nd world war, he survived being shot down in battle during his service defending freedom across the globe. He came back from the war and continued his commitment to this great nation, embracing the GI Bill, getting an advanced education and working for the US government as a nuclear physicist and a chemist his entire civilian career.
Mr Cab. along with his loving wife, who is currently 94 years old, created a family and contributed to his community for well over 60 years. His beautiful and no doubt imperfect life stands forever as an example to all those he touched and anchors his legacy as another amazing person from The Greatest Generation.
This blog is only partly about Mr Cab, it’s mostly about his grandson and his girl and the love they are building, learning, developing and most importantly, embracing. My friend’s girl lives a long way away from him and was scheduled to come to visit her man to celebrate another friend’s wedding this weekend.
When news of the death came through this week my buddy let his girl know and thought that perehaps she would pass on this east coast trip as rather than attending a wedding, the weekend would be filled with a memorial service and the bitter sweet things that go on when a family is saying good by to a loved one.
“I’ll be there, I want to be with you,” she said, “you don’t need to worry about picking me up the airport or anything for that matter, just leave your phone on so I can get into the house when I arrive late.”
My friend’s girl was saying (amongst other things) your pain is my pain at least as much as your joy is my joy. When you are down I will help lift you up, when times are the darkest I will bring the light that I can and of course… in times of goodness (like the wedding they were scheduled to attend that had her flying across the country) I’ll definitely be there too.
We all prefer weddings to funerals but life is equally full of both. In either case we are confronted with some of the most intense aspects of being human. Intimacy, trust, faith and love can grow out both circumstances. I encourage you to be the partner and do your best to pick the partner who will be there as completely when you are down on the floor in pain as much as when you’re standing tall in the winner’s circle or shining on the dance floor. A no matter what kind of love.
RIP Mr Cab. you did a real good job. Your life and service matter a great deal.
Friendship, Strength and Honor,