When we arrived at our friends Tina and Harvey's vacation home for a visit Saturday morning, she was on the phone. She looked concerned, but when I asked if anything was wrong, she shook her head.
We were excited to see the significant renovations to their very old house, and the first thing we did was go look at the results.
When we had finished our tour, Tina told us that her father had passed away, just a few hours before we arrived. Sure, he was 91, but two days earlier, he had driven to the airport to pick up his visiting son, and on the day he died he was scheduled to play his second tennis game in three days. He woke with a stomach ache on Friday, cancelled the tennis game, and died early Saturday morning.
We offered to turn around and go home, but Tina wanted us to stay. We were a good distraction as she made and received all the phone calls that an unexpected death entails.
Her dad's body was flown back to the town in which he grew up and where, yesterday, he was buried. It was cold and dreary at the grave site. There were a lot of mourners.
The ceremony was relatively brief, but I had tears rolling down my cheeks from the first moment. I could feel the family's loss; I knew what a full life her father had lived. Not that many of us get to know our great-grandchildren.
But I think I was crying for more than Tina and her family. I stood there remembering my own parents and how I wish they could have lived as fully and died as easily. And maybe too, I was crying about the quick passage of time, and the realization, once again, of how important it is to make every moment count.
So here's to Tina's dad. Well done!