Tuesday, July 5, 2016

to be continued...

I've been thinking a lot about death lately.  It's surrounds me.  It is me.  In so many ways. On the morning I left for Colorado, we took our dog of 13 years to rest. After only a few weeks of knowing she had lymphoma, she could no longer continue the fight.  On the morning I left for Colorado, I found out a former student who is very near and dear to my heart had lost her little baby sister to a drowning accident.  One of our days in Colorado, there was an active shooter blocks away in Downtown.  He was after one person and, as far as I know, only managed to kill himself.  On the night I arrived home in St. Louis, I was hearing shots fired as I drove through a neighborhood.  For the first time in that week I asked myself the question "Could this be my time?  What happens when my time comes?  How will I be remembered?"

I've read so many obituaries lately, it makes me think of an assignment many students used to think was ridiculous.  I want to write my own obituary so the world can hear my culminating thoughts and no one leaves out the best parts of my journey.

I want to talk of the chances I took and the people I touched. I want to tell stories of the places I've gone but also the times when I stayed.  I want to tell how there was rarely a person I found a stranger but not everyone always liked me. I want to tell some of the stories of this past week that have been so amazing but also how I feel guilty having those moments because I've been given so much already.  I want to include some of the greatest failures right alongside my successes.  I want to be able to say that I was me, but there are also times I was misunderstood.  I want to say that the good times weren't always worth the hard times, but the good doesn't happen without the bad.

I'd want my story to say that I lived.  In spite of shyness, divorced parents, moving around as a kid, student loans, and less-than-ideal working conditions.  I lived.  I excelled at something I was passionate about and touched the lives of many, so that they could touch the lives of even more still.

And for that reason, my story will not end just because I stop writing it.