I was on my first flight back to NY today, reading the Billings Montana newspaper (the Billings Gazette), and I just happened to glance at the obituaries, which I never normally do. Just like a lot of things that happen in life, I looked there for a reason. I found a note for a man who had passed away at age 78 on August 1. What struck me was the life that was described in such loving terms by his family, starting with the way it ended. His family were gathered around him in his last days, sharing “stories of love and gratitude”. As the piece went on, in response to this the man simply said before he passed on, “It was a good ride”.
I was hooked now so I read further. His grandchildren learned from him “the importance of honesty, a hard day’s work, and a good meal”, and he provided many life lessons, “whether it was the importance of good citizenship or simply avoiding semis while on the interstate”
Finally, they closed the obit with a quote, by Henri Nouwen – “Wherever there is life there is movement and growth. Wherever life manifests itself we have to be prepared for surprising, unexpected changes, and constant renewal. Nothing alive is the same from moment to moment. To live is to face the unknown over and over again. Life requires trust”
Life requires trust. Isn’t it interesting that you can find a life lesson at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected places? This “good ride” was certainly that. Thank you sir, and Godspeed.