September 23, 2015
My 40th High School Reunion is coming up and I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend. I had hoped to get to California, but deep down I knew it would be impossible. With my surgery and the recovery, I knew attending would be a difficult feat… but the main reason is the girls. Kimmi and Jenni. It’s next to impossible to do something like traveling for a few days, Jenni’s routine would be turned upside down and there is nothing like an obstinate ‘dolly’ in the realm.
I have a few gifted talents that I picked up over the years and one of them is putting slideshows together. I have made SO many of these ‘productions’ and I have always felt confident in how they came out. A couple months back, I had wondered if the Reunion Committee put together something honoring all of our classmates that have passed away, then figured out that was unlikely. It was more than likely left up to someone from our class to DO IT.
Last week, on our High School Class of ’75 facebook page, that question was put out there: “Does anyone know how to do a video?” I offered to do a slideshow and I knew it would be time consuming and quite an endeavor, because these things TAKE TIME from start to finish. I didn’t mind though. I may not be able to be at the reunion in person, but I’ll be there in spirit through my small gift to the class. I wanted these classmates to be remembered for who they were. And I can honestly say I provided that with dignity.
Compiling the list of names, searching online for information on each individual classmate, scanning their pictures (and ALL that THAT entails), finding a format for the layout of the photos, cropping, re-scanning, more cropping, more designs, ordering all the equipment (DVD’s – twice; jewel cases), ditching the software program I compiled it all on and entering into a new program, and after 60 some- odd hours, and lots of tears, it is completed.
I saw the dates of death on my fellow students and shook my head as to how young most of these people were when their lives ended. I quietly said a prayer for each person and worked tediously on my project. It wasn’t until I had it all tied together with the music, that made my skin ripple with goosebumps. It made me wonder, as to Why Are Some Lives Cut Too Short? I was raised Catholic and am not a regular church goer but I have my faith and know what I believe. I began wondering once again (as I had when my mother passed away) as to the answer to this question. Why?
I guess what it comes down to is this: When we say that someone “died before their time,” we falsely assume that everyone has the unwritten promise of a long life. We basically operate by the greeting of Spock from Star Trek, proclaiming “Live long and prosper!”
So why are some lives cut short, way much too soon? The likely reason is that life span is determined by such a complex mix of events that there is no accurate predicting for individuals. The factors include genetic predispositions, disease, nutrition, a woman’s health during pregnancy, subtle injuries and accidents and simply chance events, like a randomly occurring mutation in a gene of a cell that ultimately leads to cancer.
Many people believe that death is a punishment, or that death is preplanned, or that God removes people on a whim. But in reality, sometimes people just die. It’s not because they weren’t worthy of living. It’s not because God is angry or punishing you. Sometimes the body gives out. Sometimes the body develops disease. Sometimes a decision made by one person can cause another person’s life to be lost.
Your soul came here to experience, learn, and be in a place of joy. But our souls are housed in fragile shells we call bodies. Our bodies are subject to the rigors of everyday life. Disease, illness, or injury can make the body incapable of housing the soul any longer. When that happens, the soul releases the body and goes to the other side. At least, this is the way I think it is.
Cherish every day because you never know when it will be your last. And treasure those you love, because they may not be here tomorrow. While we live, we can love and experience joy. In the end, how you live is more important than how long you lived.