"WE NEVER TASTE A PERFECT JOY;
OUR HAPPIEST SUCCESSES ARE
MIXED WITH SADNESS."
Sadness just seems to be a part of everyday life anymore. With the senselessness of what is happening in the news it is not hard to have sadness become mixed with anger and despair. Stepping back and evaluating all the good has to become a part of each of our daily routines just to keep our prospective and sanity.
As I age the loss of close friends and relatives weighs heavily and has become a part of everyday life. Seeing things that I keep as mementos serves more than one purpose. Gladness and sadness have to become balanced or we lose our focus on what is ahead and how we have been blessed.
Now and then something hits from out of the blue that you never saw coming and it can shake you to the bone. These are the moments that faith and trust are really put to the test. Sometimes the sadness comes in a form that we can not be prepared for. And so it came last week.
My family has known a family for many years because of the community and the church we attend. It was not one of those things where we go over for a visit or do things together it was just the common everyday awareness of who they are.
We saw their children born and being raised but still our ties were not of the closeness of across the street neighbors. They were just good people living their lives. One of the two sons that entered the seminary happened to come to our place for a wienie roast with a group of young people in the Totus Tuus group. This is our version of the summer bible school.
The young man was just in the seminary and a happy and nice young man who had made a momentous decision with his life. Working with the young people was a delight and I poked fun at him telling his companions how I remember him being carried by his mom in a car seat in the tractor as she worked ground. This is not unusual for farm folks, but it got a laugh from his fellow instructors.
That is why it was so sad that when the news came out that he had drowned saving another's life it hit as so sad. There was so much potential and joy that the world has lost. Parents lost a son, siblings lost a brother, others lost a friend, and we all lost a great example of love and sacrifice.
As I write this his body has not been recovered. As you read it, hopefully, his funeral will be over. As a member of the church we have the memory and example of what we hope all our young people called to a vocation will be.
We do not live in that community anymore, it seems that one hours drive separates us from many friends and acquaintances. We never lose the connection however, and the sadness.