Periodically, it’s nice to have a diversion from the typical real estate investment, construction, or building science type of pontification and talk about life. We did that with “That Path is for Your Steps Alone” which you can read here.
This week, if your religious views cause you to reflect upon Easter and Holy Week, but even if they don’t, perhaps you’ll appreciate a reflection on the human side of life rather than some financial or construction lesson.
The world doesn’t need any more “statements of money owed for goods or services supplied”; nor does it need more “units of U.S. currency in paper form”; further, it probably doesn’t need more “proposed statutes presented to a legislature, but not yet enacted or made into law.”
We don’t need any more of those types of bills. I’m sure we all have enough.
But we could certainly use more of Bill G., a friend who passed away recently.
Bill was a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, and a friend. He had lost both of his parents – his father about twelve years ago, and his mother about one year ago.
Bill was a good sport. He would always show up at family gatherings, especially birthday parties and celebrations centered around his nieces and nephews. He didn’t have any children of his own.
He was a helper. He wouldn’t take credit for shouldering the bulk of the work on any project, but he did often shoulder the bulk of the work on a project. He was happy to contribute to anything that needed the skills of a handyman.
I never sensed any sort of political preference. Maybe he had one, maybe he didn’t. He made a statement through consistent, diligent, and hard work.
Bill was an electrician. He helped me with a project once. I was remodeling my home and I needed to sort through and sort out several wires that were going to different places because I was removing a wall that contained the wires. I remember his advice to me concerning removing wires from connections, then reattaching the remaining wires:
“Whenever you tie wires together with a wire nut or fasten a wire to a terminal with a screw, always make the connection tight. A loose connection causes resistance, and resistance causes heat. Heat that builds up can cause an electrical fire. So tighten those !%&^#%^&@%$&’s down.”
A loose connection causes resistance.
Is this a metaphor that may pertain to other areas of life?
Do we travel through life aimlessly, loosely connected to those around us? Or do we have strong, engaging connections that don’t cause resistance and therefore tend to persevere?
Bill was loyal. He trusted my office for eye care and had referred others for the same. Even after I had to drop an insurance plan that was difficult to work with, he remained loyal. He probably could have saved money going to an office that accepted his insurance, but he was loyal. “Dr. Leo” is what he called me. I never quite knew why, but it didn’t bother me.
We will probably never know the cause of Bill’s death. In the COVID-19 era, if there is so much as a tangential exposure or remote connection to COVID, that instantly becomes the documented and undisputed cause. Case closed.
And that can be frustrating. A lost opportunity to learn of something, such as an underlying, undiagnosed congenital health problem, that could prove helpful to other family members.
So we grieve. And we remember the good times. And we pray for the family, those who are suffering more than we are.
And we remain thankful to have been fortunate enough that the trajectories of our lives intersected that of such an outstanding human being.
And we remind ourselves of how fleeting life really is, and how we never will know our final day or hour.
Because even in this age of immediate gratification, when we can have whatever we want whenever we want it, we realize that our tomorrows are numbered.
Only we don’t know the number.
And we hug our spouses, our children, and our parents, if we’re fortunate enough to still have them around.
And in this world of everything from political bickering to civil unrest, we take a breath and a moment to find and appreciate the good things and the good people this life has to offer, and we wish there were more Bills.
And we realize that the advice, “Live each day as if it is your last” really isn’t bad advice at all.
Peace and blessings to you and your family.
Until next time,
Dr. Lee Newton