Rushville Republican

Opinion

August 22, 2012

Barada: Live like you were dying

RUSHVILLE — Every once in a while we are reminded what a tenuous proposition life can be. Within the last 10 days, two friends and a family member have passed away. None were completely unexpected, but it's traumatic nonetheless.

Some of you may remember hearing about Mike McLaughlin, the co-author on a couple of books we wrote. He passed away Aug. 10 after a long illness in Charleston, S.C. About the same time, Phil Goddard's mother died in Indianapolis. She was the widow of Judge John Goddard from Decatur County. She lived to be 95. Phil, Mike, and I were all in the same pledge class at IU in the fall of 1963. Because they were from Greensburg, I was often in their home and Alice Goddard always made me feel welcome. She had been in failing health for the last several months. Her funeral service was Aug. 15. That same day, Connie's mother passed away at Methodist Hospital after a massive stroke. She had not been in good health for the last several months, but a stroke was not anticipated. She was 91.

Even when a passing is expected, it's still a shock to those left behind. There's absolutely no way one can prepare emotionally for the loss of a friend or family member, even when everyone knows that death is coming. And there are occasions when it truly is a blessing when someone is suffering and there is no realistic hope for recovery or when the life one will be left with is being sustained artificially. Despite all the advances being made in modern medicine, the end of life is one event that no one can ultimately prevent. There are numerous comforting thoughts that can be shared, but the sense of loss is still profound and, at least in this instance, very depressing. The loss of three lives in fewer than 10 days is profoundly sad.

At another level, however, the passing of a friend or family member highlights how very tenuous life truly is and points out how all of us should share time with friends and family while we can. Even in an instance when death is not far away, one can only hope that there's still time to be spent together, time to remember, and time to say good-bye.  

We all live life walking on a tightrope made of a spider's web. Nothing about life, therefore, should be taken for granted. There is more than a little prophetic truth in the old saying, "Here today, gone tomorrow." One simply never knows when the sand will finally run though the hourglass. That's why no one should take this earthly existence for granted. Every day we are allotted should be looked upon as a gift to be treasured. If we all did that, perhaps we would be kinder to each other. Perhaps the vicissitudes of life would seem less worrisome. Perhaps the things we worry about could be put in their proper perspective. Perhaps we would take the time to be thankful for the simple things in life that we so often take for granted Ð like friendship, a kind word, a beautiful day, or giving happiness to others.

There's a popular song titled, "Live Like You Were Dying." At this moment it seems oddly appropriate. Some of the lyrics are a little trite, but some are not. One line goes, "I gave forgiveness I'd been denying." That's an important part of it, too. Forgiving others is a two-way street that makes both parties feel good in the giving and in the receiving.

At an earlier period in life, the time came when the parents of my generation of friends started to pass away. It was heartbreaking to hear a classmate who lived far away from her mother tearfully say that what she regretted most was not having the chance to tell her good-bye. At that moment, in the funeral home, it was too late and there was precious little that could be done to assuage my friend's grief. That, ultimately, is the saddest part of losing a friend or relative - not being able to tell someone how much they meant to us, or how much we loved them, or how they were loved by others. The point, I think, is those are the kinds of thoughts that we ought to be sharing right now while those we care about are still with us.

Life, at best, is short. And there are times when we become so consumed with the day-to-day business of living that it becomes very easy to forget the things that really matter, that we value most and, unfortunately, take for granted. These last few days have taught me, if nothing else, to take nothing for granted. Life offers no guarantees and makes no promises that justify putting off doing that kind deed or telling someone, "I'm glad you're my friend," or taking the time to be thankful for the blessings we've been given.

While there is truth in the old adage, that "life is what you make it," it is also true that others help us along the way with their care and concern for us, by being there when we need them. The last days have shown me, all too clearly, that they won't always be there. So, take the time today, while there still is time, to be thankful for your life and the lives of those you care about.

That's Ñ30Ñ for this week.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • The best years of your life

    As people age they often look back to fondly recall the best years of their lives. Natural timeframes are the college years or that certain age before the daily grind of work and family take over the bulk of the day. Associations are to being carefree with limited responsibilities, a light and airy existence.

    August 13, 2013

  • Ziemke: My Summer Homework

    Even though session has been out for a little more than a month, the General Assembly still has much work to do. I had a brief break where I got to go home and mow the lawn, spend time at my restaurant, the Brau Haus, and attend a few festivals in addition to continuing to work on constituent concerns. The time has come for work on summer study committees to commence and I’m ready to get back at it.

    June 28, 2013

  • Mauzy: Rush County: The hope and the despair

    Moments arise when hope and despair briefly intersect. During these emotional overlaps, it’s a toss-up as to which energy will win even though we desire the best. Two recent high-profile events present the overlapping calamity often noticed in this community.

    June 28, 2013

  • Asbestos awareness is an important topic

    Dear Editor:
    My father, sister and husband all died because of asbestos. Now my brother has asbestosis. I set up my website because of the death of my husband to let people know of the dangers. It was the first website designed by a person on the internet at that time instead of by lawyers. The stories are to honour those effected by asbestos and to make sure they are never forgotten. I had just finished the last sentence when I heard of Janelle’s death.

    June 27, 2013

  • Proposed parade route

    Dear Editor:
    I see room for compromise on the 4th of July parade route. Up Main Street to 5th Street then take 5th Street to Harrison Street to 11th Street.
    Gene Monroe
    Rushville

    June 26, 2013

  • Barada: Good advice for parents and college students

    This week’s column is more for the parents of kids about to head to college than unsolicited advice for students about to go. Why? Because kids going away from home, some for the very first time ever, can be an even more traumatic event for the parents than for their children!

    June 25, 2013

  • Stop the student loan interest rate hike

    The key to a great life is a good education. But paying for a college education is tough. Many families are taking out second mortgages. Some are putting-off deserved vacations. Others are telling their kids they just can’t afford to attend the school of their choice.

    June 19, 2013

  • Mauzy: Recent graduates are free to explore

    Two weeks have now passed since Rush County Schools released new graduates from a state required academic curriculum.

    June 18, 2013

  • Parade should be on Harrison Street

    Dear Editor:
    There was good reason for not moving the parade back onto Main Street after the third lane was rammed through: we learned Harrison Street is a better route for both the participants and the spectators.

    June 18, 2013

  • Barada: The right people in key places

    For the first time in years, this community has exceptionally good people in key places within organizations involved directly with helping make Rush County a better place in which to live!

    June 18, 2013

Featured Ads
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.