Gone (20220530)

I was walking my normal path this morning when I had an Ah-Ha moment derived from a simple comment by my youngest grandchild.

Okay, in all honesty it was not my “normal” path nor was it my “normal” walk. I really just started walking and though I enjoy the walk and feel great afterwards, it seems I have difficulty sparing 20 minutes each day to do it. But that is a different subject…finding margin in our “busy” life to do the things we like, love and need.

Today was a lesson brought about by a simple text message.

For me, it was a message in leaving, loss and the brevity of life.

I tend to walk briskly. I do not run; however, I enjoy moving my body fast enough for me to feel it. Sometimes my body reminds me it is not as young or flexible as it had been in my younger days.

But I digress.

I walked the first quarter mile or so and was rounding a cul-de-sac in a new section of our neighborhood. Our daughter and her family had bought a home just across from the end of that street, and seeing her sitting on her porch, I shouted a “hello” and waved as I wound clockwise around the circle. She looked up and waved back…and I kept walking.

Heading into the next segment of my walk, I felt my phone vibrate and saw a text message. My youngest grandson had spotted me just before I rounded the turn and disappeared from view. His comment?

“Gone.”

A simple observation meant as an observation of my physical presence within his sight.

One four-letter word.

And yet, it brought forth thoughts of the passage of time and how quickly it goes by. That in turn led to thinking about our interactions and presence in the life of others. We are here…then gone. A simple word that has so much meaning in a variety of contexts. It summarizes how we interacted and impacted others as we zipped through their lives. And we always make an impact, we forget this and need to be more intentional in deciding what kind of impact.

From birth to death and yes, even after death our presence has been felt by so many people.

I remember meeting my cousin 55 years ago and due to distance, life and language, those trips were the only times I spent time with her. Last week I received a note informing me that she had died and though I do not remember all of the specifics of our shared time, I do recall the feelings of that time. Just a blip on life’s rocky road made so much more immediate and meaningful by that one simple word.

A word to be kept in the forefront of our thoughts. One which offers a guide to our behaviors and interactions. Because we all know that sooner or later, we will all be…

Gone.