You know, I’m never sure of what I’m going to write for my columns. If you were to ask me two days before, I’d shake my head and tell you I have no idea. It’s more or less the mood that hits me or something that’s going on in my life, that’s personal, but not too personal, if you know what I mean.
Someone I knew via Facebook, but didn’t know in real life, died this week. He was a friend of some of my closest friends, and he sent me a friend request about a year ago. I can count on one hand the people I am “friends” with on social media who I don’t know personally. I just don’t do that. But he seemed nice and I always looked forward to his posts. Strange how that happens, how someone you’re friends with in everyday life, but you don’t really follow, and then there are others who you may have lost contact with, or in this case, became friends with, with whom you feel a bond.
Facebook is a strange thing and I’ve yet to make up my mind if I like it or not, but I’ll save those musings for a different day.
Last week, my friend wrote about his faith, and reflected on the last 10 years of his life. Ten years ago, he was in the process of getting a divorce and he had two young children. He’d lost his job and with no money, he had to move in with his parents. He was a musician, working with church ministries, but for some reason, he couldn’t make a go of it. His faith faltered.
He struggled with that question we all have at some point - the “who I am?” - and then dug down deep inside. He’d always loved photography, so he started taking pictures for friends’ weddings.
Fast forward to last week, almost10 years later, he was now a highly sought after photographer in the Nashville area, noted as one of the best of the best. Engaged to a woman he loved deeply, and extremely active in his church, he now led the song ministry. He had an amazing relationship with his kids and even his ex-wife, taking her out to celebrate her remission from cancer. Where once he had been lost, he was now where he was supposed to be. He wrote last week about how looking back at the dark, made him even more grateful for the light.
He died Sunday of a heart attack, two days before a trip to Hawaii to shoot a wedding. He was 42. He was right where he wanted to be, had worked to be, and he knew it. He thanked God for it and then ... he was gone.
I don’t know why his passing bothers me so much. I mean, I didn’t even know the man. But, there was something about his story that I related to. The falling down and the getting back up. The recognition that what you once expected to be is maybe not who you are supposed to be. That bad things happen to good people, bad things happen to every one of us. It’s how we stumble and then get up. I loved that he was able to look back on the last 10 years with a greater sense of peace and understanding.
As I relate this to my life I wondered what would happen if I were to die tomorrow. I would hope I have the same attitude towards my life. Honestly, there are some days I do, some days I don’t.
After all, I think that is a good and right thing to hope for, a better sense of Peace and understanding.
Goodbye my friend, goodbye. Flight of angels to you.
As for all of us, “May peace be with you.”