12/07/08 | Comments (0)

“We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away.” -Dean Charles Stanforth, from Indiana Jones, and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I saw my roommate from college yesterday. I couldn’t help but notice that he has lost a lot of hair since the last time I saw him a few years ago.

That was at the wake for my dad.

My dad grew up through the depression, so he had seen the consequences of loss, but he also understood that life goes on.

Anyways, I was returning the kindness to my roommate Dave, as it was his turn to share with us the memories of his mother while I attended the memorial service for her. Sadly, Dave also lost his father a few months ago.

When I was talking with Dave, he asked if we could move to another room where there were less people. It seems he couldn’t hear me well, as he has been losing his hearing. He told me that within the last year, he fell in a hiking accident, and after reconstructive surgery, has lost a lot of the range of motion in his right shoulder.

His daughter is currently living half way around the world, and he has lost regular contact with her. His son, however, was there, and has grown up to be a handsome, articulate professional.

People are losing health, losing jobs, losing investments, losing money in their 401k’s, losing houses, losing spouses.

We are also losing our best friends.

That is the way of the world; always has been, always will be.

We need to learn to live with loss, and keep on keeping on. More importantly, we need to understand that life is a gift, and we need to celebrate that precious gift each and every day, no matter how difficult that seems when we are enduring loss.

Inside another Crystal skull, this week’s guest speaker gave some interesting and encouraging advice for a nation in need of hope.

My dad reminded me more than once that “I thought I was poor because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet.”

Find someone less fortunate than ourselves, and see if we can’t find a way to help them. Got an old pair of shoes, or an old coat you don’t wear anymore? Drop it off to a shelter for the homeless.

Dad’s gift to me of the concept of helping others continues to impact my life.

“Wisdom is like a comb that life gives you after you have lost all your hair.”

I pass along that gift to you this Holiday Season.

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