Kevin and I have a group of friends we used to get together with most every weekend. We would all hang out, eat, watch the kids play, watch football, and such.
As life goes sometimes, we don't all hang out that much anymore. You know how life is -- kids, work, school and so forth -- life changes.
But unfortunately, there is one place we've all gathered one too many times over the past couple of years and that is the funeral home. Most of the people we've buried have been our age or younger. If that isn't sad enough, we've lost some of them to cancer and tragic accidents.
As we gathered at the funeral home once more on Tuesday evening, for Catherine "Cat" Hand, who was a daughter, a sister, a niece, a granddaughter and a friend, I thought about something my grandmother always told me growing up.
She said that life was short -- we were not guaranteed our next breath and death is no respecter of age. Isn't that the truth. I do believe in the past five years I've buried more people under the age of 40 than over.
There was a part of me that felt a little guilty about all of the questions and excitement of the upcoming birth of our baby girl. I couldn't help but think of Cat's mom, how she just lost her daughter and how everyone was so excited about the birth of ours.
I know, Cat's mom didn't mind one bit about the excitement of baby Joy, but it still pulls at your heart strings though.
So, why do we let life fly by so fast and only gather at the funeral home. It takes death to bring us all together and yet we allow life pull us apart. I'm not just speaking about our group of friends, I am talking about all of us.
My buddy Mike Jackson and I talked at the funeral about how Cat really is in a better place, and she is. She is even much better off the we all are. She walks the streets of glory with Jesus What better place would there be than to be with Him in heaven?
That's the hope we hold onto when we place yet another loved one into the ground. Those are the words we share with a friend who feels lost because they just buried a piece of their heart along with their loved one. That is the promise from our Almighty Savior -- that He gives us the ultimate peace and comfort.
I'll end with one of my favorite passages to quote in times of heart ache -- Psalms 23, verses 1 through 6. "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."
Julie Wells is the editorial assistant in the newsroom at the Rockdale Citizen. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.