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By Forrest Hershberger
View from the Handlebars 

A Day as a Minute

 

A week ago, a few of us met. It is a tradition that started out of a need for support.

We had been thrust into a chapter in life no parent wants to experience. In what still seems like a heartbeat, we went from guiding an 18-year-old to planning her funeral. The day is forever stuck in replay. The day starts with some creative time at m keyboard, followed by an argument with my daughter. A hot noon lunch with my daughter and wife, later hearing an apology message she left.

I do my shift in a very unique environment with every detail moving according to clockwork, almost as if time itself had a destination. Then that night, biking home, I see the stage set for the last chapter. Our daughter, Jill, was a passenger on a motorcycle, an experience we believed to be rare. On this night, the driver lost control of his new bike on a county road, ejecting both of them.

The easy lesson is none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. The end could come with the cement truck crossing the highway or as simple as something inside you that decided to surface. Either way, the day will come when each of us learn what comes after death. They are easy words, unless you are the one left to pick up the pieces. I think about this chapter in life often. I think about it because there are times the cute little assuring cliches in life are verified. Sometimes it does seem like we humans do not have the control we think we do. Sometimes, the best we can do is hold on.


The thing about loss, especially loss of life, is the desire to answer all of the questions. If only… If I had… These simple questions can also be the most damning. It is the survivor’s guilt in full force. The reality is some questions in life just can’t be answered. Loss is one of those “demons” in life that we must turn and face if we are to move forward. Moving forward includes admitting there are things in life we can’t control. There are things in life that aren’t fun nor pretty in the emotional or physical sense. The deepest songs and poetry are often written by people whose wounds are the most painful. Why? Maybe the answer is in each of us quietly admitting we could be next. Maybe these artists of emotion are expressing what many of us feel. We could be the ones holding the pieces of life helplessly, or the one who peers past the great divide.


The truest cliche is for us to value each day, each moment, in awareness that we are not guaranteed the next sunrise. We need to be aware businesses come and go. Relationships are what makes life worth living.

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough worries of its own.”

 

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