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I am a habitual reader of the Obits.

When you live on a small island, it becomes a habit. Not just for old people. We all do it.

Today I mourned the passing of a brave lady who lost her cancer battle yesterday. She and her husband were part of my parents circle of friends when I was younger. Evenings when they would all come over were filled with laughter, often raucous, that lasted well into the wee hours. They knew how to have fun, that lot. And I grew up with that thought embedded somewhere deep inside. What is life without laughter?

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My family knows how to laugh. We share a rather strange form of humor that sometimes puts us just a little north of normal, but we like it there. That’s where all the fun happens. You can be sure, when we’re all together, there will be laughter.

When somebody dies, I reflect on my own mortality. I can’t help it, really. I am that way. And this week it struck me a little harder. When you get that call from the doctor that indicates all is not well in your world, you start thinking about things like that. Things like illness and death and dying. But it’s a given, isn’t it? Just as we are born, we shall die. And we do not know the day or the year or the hour of that moment. Just that it will come. And I’m okay with that. But I don’t want it to be any time soon. I’m praying for whatever’s going on with me to turn out to be nothing serious at all. Something manageable. Fixable. I still have lots of living to do.

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Lots of loving to do. And a whole lot more laughing ahead of me…

But it isn’t my decision to make. Just as our friend now gone from this earth far too soon could not control her illness. We can’t, you see. Control things. We want to, though. We want to be the puppet masters of our own performance. To pull all the right strings at just the right time and make something magical happen. It is perhaps a stretch for some to believe that somebody else is already doing that for us.

And so I think on life and ponder things.

Like Grace.

Love. 

Faith. 

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And hope…

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We are not expected to be perfect. God knows I’m not. But he loves me anyway. My friends and family know my imperfections inside and out. Yet here I am. Here we are.

Loving and laughing and simply being.

Enjoying the glorious in-between.

Come what may.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. —- Oscar Wilde. 

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