Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sadness - and Beyond

Yesterday I attended the funeral of a 42 year old woman who died suddenly at home without an obvious cause. Her 13 year old son desperately tried CPR. I didn't know her. Her father was a teacher and coach were I grew up. It was important for me to be there in support of her family, given that most of us (from Indiana originally) were unable to be in suburban Seattle then to support them.

It is helpful for me to see seemingly "normal" Americans as this family obviously is who aren't "liberal-radical do-gooders" like I'm familiar with but are nice, loving, caring warm people.

In my younger life people were always: "hip" or "not cool" and similarly dichotomized into "with us" or "against us". As I get older I appreciate the opportunities to connect in limited ways with people that I otherwise might never know when they are open and accepting of my and others close to me.

It was a sad, but very moving funeral. I was very impressed with the father (I'd not seen in about 41+ years) as a 74 year old, grieving father and his son-in-law who towered physically over his short father-in-law.

Today - I felt a very opposite set of feelings in a most trivial way when a young man - roughly 17-20 years old - stopped me outside the gas station shop I was entering to ask me if I would buy cigarettes for him. He had no ID with him, and the store clerk wouldn't sell them to him.


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