Two weeks ago, I said that in one week you’d have the opportunity to meet Waffling Walter. You’d already met Horrible Harry and Harried Harriet. And then last week Friday … there was no Waffling Walter introduction.
Oh, the post was done and was supposed to publish on Friday morning while I was in a van, with my husband, my brother and his wife and my parents, en route to Alberta to attend my uncle’s funeral. I didn’t set the publish date correctly and the post didn’t happen. Initially, I was going to post it today, but just this morning, decided to focus on and end this week on a positive note. Sadly, the Waffling Walter’s of this world will not disappear before next week, so there is no danger of that post becoming irrelevant in the next few days.
We left Winnipeg at about 5:30 am last week Friday and pulled into Lethbridge, Alberta at just after 6 pm their time, 7 pm Winnipeg time. We quickly checked into our hotel and then got back into the van to meet with the family at an informal viewing service. Saturday morning was the internment service, followed by the funeral service. At this point you might be thinking “Laurie, you are talking about a funeral. Where is the positive in this?”
Here it is:
- Never pass up the opportunity to spend more time with the people you love. My uncle was a healthy 86 years old. Everyone fully expected him to be around for much longer. And then, in five days, he was gone. Back in my 20’s and maybe even my 30’s, the very thought of spending over 26 hours in a van with five other people would have sent me running. Today, perhaps because I now understand the tenuousness of this fragile gift called life, those are 26 hours I will look back on with a smile.
- Love what you do. My uncle was a builder. He had his own company and built hundreds of homes for families. He loved what he did and took pride in his work. He retired numerous times but kept going back to what he loved so really, he never worked a day in his life. He simply got up and spent his days doing something he loved.
- Focus on the goal. When the family arrived for the internment service on Saturday morning, , they discovered that the grave site was not ready. A mistake had been made, adding to the distress at an already emotional time. They had every reason to be upset, but instead chose to focus on the real reason everyone was there … to say goodbye to a much loved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. The service didn’t look the way they had planned, but that did not make it any less real or heartfelt.
- Learn about the person behind the title. It’s so easy to look at mom and dad as just mom and dad and forget that before they were mom and dad, they were Eugene and Lottie. They had, and still have, dreams, that are for them, not for us. They make plans. They have lived through hurts and disappointments and come out stronger for them. Uncles, aunts, cousins .. they all have life stories hidden behind those titles we attach to them.
It’s Friday … the end of a week and the opportunity to focus on all the good that we have in our lives. What are you thankful for?