I pause from my typical postings on this day for a brief look at Life as it has been affecting me over the past couple of months. Life. We are not in charge.
Yesterday, we attended two precious gatherings of people. Interestingly, speakers at both said, “We are gathered here today for a celebration of Life.”
Sadly, one gathering was to honor a life that passed far too young. The other was celebrating two merging lives beginning a new phase of their time together.
Ron Morton left us at just 47 years of age. The decorated, special operations U.S. Navy veteran lived his life fully, if not overflowingly. A genuine person, a dependable and devoted friend, and the proud father of Kaden, he had spent many hours in our home.
With my hubby being Ron Martin, whenever they were together, we called them Ron Squared. Ron Morton will be forever missed, and never forgotten.
A Facebook posting of his from nearly one year ago served up a memorable slice of his philosophy. “Life is a puzzle. Solve it with the right pieces.”
From the military honors and service at Brookwood Park in Landrum, SC we then drove to Saluda, NC. A wedding had been meticulously planned deep in the gorge, along the banks of the Green River.
Guests were welcomed with hot cider, popcorn, and donuts prior to the ceremony.
Misty Proctor and Brian Davis hosted a full array of friends and family at a unifying celebration of their love.
The groom glowed, and the bride was radiant. The famed river provided a rousing backdrop for the event’s autumnal color scheme.
The reception that followed flowed with their creativity and passion, from the do-it-yourself caramel apple station and Cuban food truck catering to the West End String Band and the kayak paddle bridal couple welcome.
Conflicting emotions filled our hearts yesterday. Loss and love. But that has been a theme for the past two months.
We had suddenly lost a dear friend, Tom Kraemer, in Marco Island, FL earlier this Fall. Ron always had the knack for making The Chief smile! But just 3 days before Hurricane Ian slammed into southwest Florida, I got the hauntingly painful, middle-of-the-night text from his wife, Rose.
We love her to the moon and back, and his sudden loss smashed all sensibilities and left her in shock. Not that she could mourn in peace, because the category 4 hurricane was about to add more distress. Finally, when the church reopened, and she could hold a memorial service, Ron and I ended up communing in spirit, rather than in person. Due to so much hurricane-related property loss, there were no flights, no rental cars, and no hotel rooms. We wanted to drive the 13 hours, but we would have to drive straight back as we were departing the next day for our long-awaited (and already twice canceled) trip to Hawaii.
Talk about conflicted. Life does this to us. Celebrate while we can.
These celebrations of life hardly stop there. This Fall served up many blessings in the form of healthy, new babies, too. We have felt so richly blessed by the birth of our second grandbaby, Ayla on October 18. Adam and Caiti’s growing family reminds us that the circle of life is real, worthy, and beautiful.
We should and do celebrate lives just starting, lives joining in love, and lives lived.
Life is fragile. Lives are fragile. Celebrating Life continually reminds us to value and cherish each moment, even when it feels far too fast and fleeting. Go with the goal… face Life fearlessly!