And He Slipped Under The Water, Gone But Not Forgotten

“Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you”
Bookends- Simon and Garfunkel

I have written too many posts like this one. Too many comments about how short life is and how tenuous our grip upon it is.

Twenty-seven years ago we spent part of a summer together, counselor and camper. We weren’t the closest pair and truth is we probably didn’t have that many conversations but we were part of a group that built memories together.

Part of a group that took a moment in time and froze it, this I know because through the years many different members have talked about it and shared how it influenced their lives.

It changed some of us and had little impact upon others but those who took something from it gained quite a bit.

And He Slipped Under The Water, Gone But Not Forgotten

You didn’t drown and you weren’t lost in the sense that we couldn’t find you.

But you were taken from your family and your friends. Your children are going to have to find their way without your guidance and I am very sorry for that because I am a father and I cannot imagine how hard it must be to know that you have to let go before you are ready.

I talked about slipping under the water because I remember spending time with you at a beach and upon the banks of a river. Long ago when you were 15 and I was 18, back when the age difference between us was so much greater than now.

Now we are contemporaries, with little difference between us other than now you are gone and I am here. I don’t say that with glee, but with an acknowledgment that I am doing my best to live my life in a way that doesn’t allow me to just pass up opportunities to truly live.

That is how I try to honor those of you who haven’t gotten the same opportunity.

Sometimes I think about you who have gone on to wherever it is we go after this time as being in the vanguard. We have changed places because that summer we spent together was when I was in the vanguard and on the camping trips and hikes I was always at the front, always checking the path to make sure it was safe for the rest to pass.

Maybe that is what you are all doing now. Maybe you are among those who will guide the rest of us when we leave the bonds of the earth.

Or maybe not.

But I figure if there is nothing to come after our time here you are still guides because as I mentioned you are part of why I push to truly live life and to chase down dreams.

Time it was, and What a Time It Was

I don’t know what else to say or how else to deal with stories like this. Tales of cancer striking down those who are far too young. You were 42, far older than many and far younger than some.

All I can do is share these words and say I have fulfilled the promise I made earlier and I will continue to do my best to continue to do so.

Our lives may be brief but if we live with purpose and intention than we can help to make an impact upon others and there is merit in that, a sign of a life well lived.

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4 Comments

  1. Brian Meeks May 26, 2014 at 3:26 am

    That was a touching post. I’m sure your friend appreciates it. I especially like the visual of them going ahead to check that the path is safe for the rest of us when it is out time to move on.

    Beautiful writing my friend.

    • Jack May 26, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Thank you sir. I don’t know what comes next, but I do like the idea people are checking it out for us. Hope you have a great Memorial Day.

  2. Larry May 25, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Sorry for this loss.
    42 is the prime of life. A man should have many more good years. Hopefully, the memory can inspire you and others to live a life of purpose and intention.
    I pray for those kids who are left w/o a father.

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