December 2, 2009

the road ahead

"We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey."
+ Kenji Miyazawa
The story isn't new. We've all heard it before, but every now and then, we're knocked down with another reminder. Life is precious and in day, an hour, an instant, everything can change -- and will.
Just before I left for Thanksgiving with my family, I thought about how incredibly lucky I am. The number one reason: the people in my life. My family alone has roots in love, thoughtfulness, tradition and camaraderie. They are my family but also my friends. We share in each other's victories, and support each other when there is a defeat or a fall. It is why I'm so lucky, why I'm so thankful.

Two days ago we found out that one of my parent's best friends, a man who my brother, sister and I consider a favorite uncle, passed away while performing a routine chore on his family's farm. His family is a family we all want to be a part of. They're the strongest family you know. You hear their name, and it defines each and every one of them with character, strength and compassion. They are the family you want on your team, and the friends you'll always need to give depth and meaning to your life. They've lost a dad, a husband, a brother, an uncle, a son, and a friend. Their grief and sadness is shared between their roots, and also between our community.  There is nothing that will make their loss any easier, but I'm thankful they have each other to lean on and turn to for the road ahead.