In the Midst of Life

There’s a lot going on in today’s title. It’s reminiscent of “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” (John Lennon)

But death is also what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Sometimes when you’re in the midst of life.

Our family camp vacation last week was a wonderful time for everyone, all the way around. I’ll post pictures later, when I have time and heart to do so. My older daughter, The Preteen, made friends with another 12-year-old enjoying her first time at camp (The Preteen is an old-timer, this being her third year). They hung out together all week.

As we were almost ready to leave camp Saturday morning, I was in the camp office when the news came: there had been a serious car accident involving The Preteen’s friend’s family, who had left not long before. No one knew anything except that the Jaws of Life were needed, and the helicopter had been called.

After bits and pieces of news, and a strained and careful drive home, we found out that the friend’s father had been killed, and the rest of the family had been hospitalized, although not with life-threatening injuries. Some of the people in the other car were badly hurt as well. It’s not clear what happened.

Now, I had not really had a chance to talk to this man last week — who was, indeed, in the midst of his life (he was 47, not much older than me). I had chatted with his wife and seen his daughters a number of times. The Preteen had sailed with him and his family the day before in a race. But I particularly remembered him from the evening campfire on the last day of camp — he had, along with my younger daughter the Gothlet, won some archery awards. I remember his huge beaming smile as he came down to accept his awards.

The Gothlet had cried and cried the night before, when she found out one of her favorite counselors would not be back the next year (he’d been there all three years we’ve come, but now was starting graduate school far away). She got to say good-bye to him the next day under a Saturday Sky:


This picture was taken shortly before the phone call. At least the Gothlet got to say ‘good-bye’ to her friend. We don’t always have that luxury for taking leave of our loved ones.

I know we hear this all the time. But look at, really see, the people you love, and tell them you love them.

Don’t go to bed angry, or out the door on hateful words. The world can change in a split second, and there aren’t any do-overs.

It’s so easy to dream of the days gone by
It’s hard to think of the times to come
But the grace to accept every moment as a gift
Is a gift that is given to some

What can you do with your days but work & hope
Let your dreams bind your work to your play
What can you do with each moment of your life
But love till you’ve loved it away
Love till you’ve loved it away

There are sorrows enough for the whole world’s end
There are no guarantees but the grave
And the life that I live & the time I have spent
Are a treasure too precious to save

What can you do with your days but work & hope
Let your dreams bind your work to your play
What can you do with each moment of your life
But love till you’ve loved it away

Love till you’ve loved it away

Thanksgiving Eve, by Bob Franke

Accept the gift of grace.

Share, don’t save, the treasure of love and life.

Love you all.

4 responses to “In the Midst of Life

  1. Thank you Cathy.


  2. Thanks Cathy. It is beautiful!

  3. I am so sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to all of you. What a tragedy.

    Call me when you get a chance. We are gone this weekend.


  4. I send heartfelt hugs to all. Such a hard thing to wrap your mind around for your girls, not to mention you and your husband. It made me cry. Our prayers are with you all. Marcia

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