Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Different Trips

My oldest daughter, Libra Finley, parked outside Elliot and Pickett Bed and Breakfast on Mt. Vernon St. near Beacon St. in Boston. She did all the driving and returned us home safe and sound to Detroit.

My 85 year old mom traveled to Boston with us to witness my younger daughter's (Kaleema Nur) graduation from law school at Northeastern University. Mom is a great traveler and always thanks us for taking the "old lady" along. I want to be her when I grow up. She is in excellent health and still works, travels and attends church and church related activities.

That is my just turned fifteen year old grandson seated in the back seat.

Different Trips
The two most recent road trips that I have taken could not have been more different. The most recent one to Boston, May 22-26 was a fun filled one with friends and family honoring a joyous occasion, my younger daughter's graduation from law school. It was a well deserved culmination to three grueling years.

The earlier trip, May 3-6 was to attend my ex husband's son's and my daughters brothers funeral. Maximillian Osirus Finley had just turned 34. He appeared to be at the top of his game with an engineering and a law degree under his belt. He was engaged to be married in September, 2008. He had purchased a brownstone in Syracuse, NY. and was a first time homeowner. He was handsome, fun loving and from the number of friends that turned out for his funeral, a remarkably good friend and a good human being. Over two hundred wellwishers turned out in Syracuse, NY and an equal number packed the medium sized church in Atlanta, GA that assembled to witness his final sendoff.

None of us know the day or time that death will overtake us. Max collapsed while playing basketball, something that he did frequently throughout his life. He ran track during college and like his father was good at it. While I do not know a lot about track I know a lot about grief and I can tell you that it was hard on his parents, his siblings, his young fiancee and his friends. No one expected for Max to check out so soon. If anything, we expected his parents to die before him. But again, life has a way of throwing us curve balls. That is not the way it is supposed to happen you say. The autopsy revealed an undiagnosed enlarged heart. But it could have been anything.

As the result of Max's untimely death, I keep trying to learn to live my life like there is no tomorrow. I know, that is hard. We don't want to become fearful or fail to plan for tomorrow. But there must be some kind of balance so that we do not take our family and friends and resources for granted and are caught unexpected. Let us not assume that we will long lives. Perhaps if we simply dream and plan but at the same time, live one day, one full day doing our very best at being the best person we can be so that when we lay our heads down each night we can feel that if we don't wake up that our lives will not have been in vain.

Can you say that about your life? Can you truthfully say that if you were to go to bed tonight and not wake up that you tried to stand for something? That you tried to make a difference? That you left a legacy?

What are you taking for granted today? What are you putting off in the distant future? How can you live your life with more intentionality and more love and goodness?

I invite you to ponder these questions. Furthermore, I invite your prayers/meditations/reflections for the family and all the family's experiencing untimely deaths and loss of loved ones.

Blessed Be! Rev. Dr. Qiyamah

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