When my wife and I were young it seemed life gave us joy without limits. Setbacks and challenges, sure, but as our young family grew it was mostly all joy. But seasons slowly change and I’ve noticed that at some point life stops giving so much and it begins taking back. My Dad passed away on May 7th this year and my brother died exactly eight weeks later. With my Mom having passed long ago, it was left to me to bury them both and handle their affairs over these last ten weeks or so and it’s been one of the toughest experiences of my life.

We have four children and six grandchildren and I don’t believe we would have endured this without them. They are a constant source of strength and hope for our future.

About the time all this trouble found us we had made an offer on a new house and are currently in the process of moving. If you imagine it being pure chaos here you would be correct. Besides moving and selling our home, now I have to prepare and sell my Dad’s house. Like I said, tough times and apparently stressful enough that I’ve lost 30 lbs. At least I hope that’s from stress and not some undetected illness…

I’m pretty certain this process has aged my body at least ten years. And if not my body then my mind. I’ve learned a lot from what has happened and suddenly feel much wiser. And I’m sorry to tell you there’s nothing new in that wisdom to share. It’s the same thing we’ve been told forever; life is about nothing more than family, friends, faith and love.

That same wisdom has been shared forever thru the ages though it seemed too quaint and too simple for a young mind to really comprehend it. But it’s true. I can tell you as an eye-witness to the efficacy of strong family bonds, the kind that won’t break when the winds of life blow like a mighty gale. Love people. Be nice. Do good work. Be proud. Live life as big as you can. Laugh at every chance you get. Laugh when you’d rather cry.

It’s been said that life appears like a drop of dew on a leaf, it’s there for a moment and then vanishes. Take this to heart. Love, laugh, and live while you can, this life doesn’t last long.