Last weekend Pamela and I attended a memorial service for our friends mother. Over the last 6 years she fought bravely and tireless two types of cancer. During our friends eulogy he stated that, in the end, once she knew her son was happy and newly engaged, his mother knew it was alright to go.
During the service, which was lovely, I sat in the back pew listening to the words he said about his mom and I witnessed the effect they had on those around me, including my wife.
When attending a memorial service or celebration of one’s life, I think we all have moments of self reflection. Moments of thought were our minds wander to “What if?”, “Have I done enough?”, “Why am I here?”, “What will it be like when my loved ones time comes”, “I hope this many people show up to celebrate my life”, “What will I most be remembered for?” etc. . Really the thoughts are endless, but they should not be debilitating. For me, those thoughts are motivating.
One of the things we did at the service was hold a lit candle while we sung “Silent Night”. During this time I zoned out and was mesmerized by the flickering candle held by the person in front of me. I watched the flame dance as it grew and shrank with the movements from its holding hand.
I interpreted the flame to represent life. From the time it is lit (birth) to when it is burning steady and bright (living life) to the fading flickering light (aging), just before it’s extinguished, and the little trail of smoke it leaves behind once it is out (memories). No matter how strong or steady of a flame we have, eventually it will extinguish. Before that occurs what is it that makes your flame burn bright and dance? For me, It’s knowing that I have a loving family, wife, fur-baby (Penny Love) and a desire to create memories not dreams. The desire to create memories is one of the reasons that we’re packing up our home and traveling for a year. This journey we’re embarking on will have countless moments that will turn into lasting memories for us and others.