It has been a sad, hard week.
In my personal life, things are ok.
But so many heartaches amongst friends and connections.
Visited with the Saldi family on Saturday.
I now believe there are some things worse than death of a loved one. The living but not whole life of a loved one is tougher. That's what the Saldis are dealing with. They are afraid to hope and afraid not to hope. At least death puts a period at the end of the sentence.
As much as I've experienced in the last couple of years with the loss of Pete and some of his men, I don't have any magic words to offer those that are hurting. I've learned that no one has magic words to offer me. Love, hugs and compassion is all we have to offer.
On Monday of this week, a fellow North Texas Gold Star father died.
His son, a Marine, was killed in Afghanistan in July. He was buried just a few weeks ago.
The father was inspired by the Patriot Guard Riders just as I have been. The father had years of experience with motorcycles. He bought a new bike on Monday.
On Tuesday morning, a drunk driver ran over him at 10:40 in the morning. The woman had two prior DWI's. She is now charged with murder.
I saw a friend today that I've known for 10 years or so. He is in his mid 30's.
He got married about 5 years ago. Loved his wife more than life itself.
She died shortly after Pete was killed.
He and I have cried together before. But today he was having a very hard day.
He said he is having trouble loving again. Even with members of his own family with whom he has been close always. He has a strong Christian core, but now he is on the merry-go-round of faith. He wants to have faith, but the pain makes him question. His hurt is so palpable it made me feel guilty that I am not in as much pain as he is.
And tonight, had dinner with the sweetest, gentlest man on earth.
He shared a story about a dear woman he had worked with some time ago. In late June, as in about 45 days ago, she organized a group lunch of coworkers from that previous company.
She died of pancreatic cancer on July 30. Jim showed me the lunch pictures he made on his iPhone. There is her beautiful big smile. And now she is gone.
There are only two ways I know of to think about life and death.
Option one: there is no God, no Creator, no Divine plan. We are cosmic dust being blown around and rearranged haphazardly and nothing means anything.
Option two: there is a God, a Creator, a Divine plan. We have eternal souls that will live with Him, or not, depending on our choices here on earth.
I may die a fool. But, I'm picking Option two.
If I have no hope, I quit. Why bother?
But since I choose to hope, I am going to keep moving forward. Loving, hugging, encouraging. Believing that there is a better place. A time of reunion for those that believe.
I hope you will join me there.