Saturday, May 5, 2012

What does it all mean?

 My grandfather graduated from Saint Louis University more than 100 years ago with a medical degree. (I love that connection with St. Louis and my own family tree.) Unfortunately the study of medicine didn’t prevent John Benjamin Morgan (my grandfather) from losing his life to heart disease before he reached the age I will celebrate later this month. Meanwhile my dad is still living and expressing himself in water color paintings every day at the age of 93. My father remembers when his mother (my grandmother) passed away. She lived into her 80s. On her deathbed she asked, “What does it all mean, Jimmy?” I can’t help reflecting on that innocent question from time to time. Especially when you lose someone.

Years ago, when I was on my way to my own High School Graduation, I was listening to Cat Stevens (probably on an 8-Track player in my father’s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme). “Oh very young, what will you leave us this time? ...You’re only dancing on this earth for a short while…” I was moved by that song to the point of replaying the tune over and over again.

Tragically, recent news in St. Louis of a hit-and-run driver resulting in the death of Amber Wood, a young woman in her 20s with everything to live for becomes another painful reminder of how fragile this life really is. Her mom is bravely dealing with the incredible loss with periodic posts on facebook. Friends are quick to offer prayers and expressions of sympathy. I can’t imagine the grief. I hope and pray the memories of Amber will give her mom courage to carry on.

Oh very young, what will you leave us this time? You’re only dancin’ on this earth for a short while…