My social calendar includes far too many funerals these days. I recall a time when my mother-in-law seemed to be attending a farewell service of some kind almost once a month. She joked that at the rate her friends and relatives were going there would be nobody left to honor her when she died. That proved to be entirely false because she had been such a generous soul in life that the church was crowded with people who wanted to honor her in death. It’s not an easy thing to lose a loved one and the nature of funerals is to recall the best moments of the deceased’s life. In today’s world that almost always includes a slideshow of photographs outlining the human milestones that are universal to our society.
Thus it was with the man whose life we honored on this past Saturday. I didn’t know him well. He was the father of my cousin’s wife. Had he lived a few more weeks he would have been ninety nine years old. The most recent images of him showed a thin elderly man with little hair who appeared not yet accustomed to being without his wife who had predeceased him. It was not the photos of his family nor his parties that caught my fancy but one that captured the spirit of his youth. There he was in all his glory with a head full of hair and a look of determination and hopefulness on his unlined face. He was handsome and full of vim and vigor. He had not yet even begun the long journey that would eventually define him but his visage showed that he somehow knew even then that it was going to be great. Continue reading “Young and Beautiful”