One of my fraternity brothers recently lost his wife. She was only 40, a mother taken far too early. I lost another friend about six weeks ago and another this past May. Three people who were all my age. Won't claim to have been close or best friends with any of them. But I spent large chunks of time with all of them and more than a a laugh or two.
One day they were here and the next they were gone.
It is not as unusual as we might hope it to be. Things happen to people. It doesn't matter whether they are good or bad, life happens. It is hard sometimes to reconcile why people like Charles Manson are granted long lives in relatively good health and others have so many challenges to overcome.
Out in the dark there are people that I love and care about who are fighting their own battles. Some are doing the best that they can to help sick parents. It is hard to watch our heroes fail. It is hard to watch the people we think of as being invulnerable break down and know that our own ability to help them is so limited.
Destiny. I have been thinking about it quite a bit. Been thinking about what I really believe and whether some things are preordained. There are moments where I want to believe that some things are meant to be. Moments when I demand that G-d, karma, the universe, something give me an answer that makes sense. And there are moments where I doubt it all.
Here is what I know for certain....nothing, or relatively little. But I can tell you that I am doing all that I can to take control of my destiny. I have to. Lately life has felt a bit like I am riding a stagecoach that has no driver. Well, I climbed out the door, over the top and jumped into the saddle. I am busy trying to take the reigns so that I can gain some control of it.
And I am thankful for that. I am grateful that I can try to make a difference there. I am grateful for my health and the health of my family. I am grateful for having some amazing friends. I am grateful for having had a good life and am well aware that sometimes it can all change suddenly.
I have seen those changes and because I have I am unwilling to watch life pass me by. I am unwilling to let the horses take me over the cliff or to just stare out the window watching the scenery pass me by.
I cannot be other than I am and I am grateful for the chance to be me. Have a happy Thanksgiving.