It doesn't seem that long ago that Sue and I were spending our summer days traveling to attend weddings. We had to mark the calendar carefully so we didn't miss anyone's big day. Weddings are happy, joyful and forward looking - reasons to celebrate! But as time has passed, the wedding season of our lives diminished. Now, a new season seems to be upon us - and it's not one I welcome in any way. Seems we're at the age where funerals have come to clutter our calendar. I've recently lost an uncle on each side of my family.
Most recently, our family vacation was interupted with a 7 hour trip to my uncle Harold's unexpected funeral. Unlike the politeness of weddings, funerals give you no warning and demand you drop everything. They quickly shake you to remind you that we are not in control and that life can't be fully planned. Our days are numbered, but none of us actually know what that number is. Funerals are rude, impolite, backward looking and reasons to mourn. I think I really prefer weddings!
But, I've decided to try a new outlook on funerals. My friend, Bob Myles, passed away last week. I met his stepson and explained that Bob and I were friends from Rough River. Bob was the kind of guy who was your friend if you've spent more than a week and a half or so at Rough River. His smile was both infectious and mischevious. He was either making you laugh or planning to make you laugh. At his funeral we got to see some pictures from his childhood. To our amazement, his warm smile was seemingly identical as a toddler. At 55, Bob died way too young. Bob was the kind of guy who admits his mistakes. As he puti it, he was a smoker who quit too late. Lung cancer took his body, but not his spirit. So my new outlook on funerals is to go back to the basics. Trust God in all things - and learn from those that I've been blessed to know. I'm glad I knew Bob Myles and feel blessed to have called him a friend.