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Monday, March 28, 2005

...is a good day"

The title of today's post is the second half of one of my favorite sayings.  I generally share this particular bit of wisdom when people ask, "How are you?" without really wanting to know the answer.

My reply to this casual question catches people off balance, and makes them uncomfortable... but I assure them it is meant to be positive... and to express gratitude for what I have.

Today is a beautiful day here in Israel.  The sky is the color of a robin's egg... there is a warm, gentle breeze blowing the smell of fresh flowers into recently opened windows... the sound of birds carries for an unusually long distance through the fresh, clear air... and everybody seems to have forgotten their jackets and sweaters in their cars on the way to wherever they were going this morning.

Unfortunately, someone forgot more than his sweater this morning.  Someone went to sleep yesterday and forgot to wake up.  He forgot a lifetime of living and a universe of people that he had spent his short stay on earth loving.  When he closed his eyes for the last time, he couldn't know that they would never open again.

Why am I getting ready to leave work early to attend the funeral of a close friend's younger brother?  Why, instead of enjoying this beautiful day, is a man more than two years younger than I am, laying on a stone slab in Jerusalem waiting with endless patience for his two older brothers to place him carefully in his grave?  Why doesn't he deserve to enjoy this beautiful day?

It scares me not to have handy answers to these and other questions... but I take a bit of comfort from having a handy saying... actually more of a mantra... to offer perspective.

"Every day above ground... is a good day"

221_13

Posted by David Bogner on March 28, 2005 | Permalink

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It scares me not to have handy answers to these and other questions...

Life to me has been about how I act or react to the things it tosses my direction. I can't answer many questions, but I can always determine the attitude with which I take on the world.

And every day above ground is generally a good day. Sorry to hear about your friend's loss.

Posted by: Jack | Mar 28, 2005 4:38:19 PM

How odd that you and I both spent a part of our day at a funeral. And while the friend's mother we mourned was somewhat older, she was not old by contemporary standards. We have entered the part of our lives where we can no longer take our immortality for granted. We can be paralyzed by fear, or emboldened by the opportunity each day brings. Your words, and the love of friends near and far, present or softly treading in the background, are words not to live by, but to seize life by.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Mar 28, 2005 7:26:43 PM

How odd that you and I both spent a part of our day at a funeral. And while the friend's mother we mourned was somewhat older, she was not old by contemporary standards. We have entered the part of our lives where we can no longer take our immortality for granted. We can be paralyzed by fear, or emboldened by the opportunity each day brings. Your words, and the love of friends near and far, present or softly treading in the background, are words not to live by, but to seize life by.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Mar 28, 2005 7:27:08 PM

My condolences. You've been to too many funerals recently.

May The Holy One comfort your friend and his family. And you.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Mar 28, 2005 9:03:58 PM

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