Celebrating Lives

As I get older I’m starting to realize that it’s more important to celebrate one’s life than it is to mourn ones death. This is a lesson that I learned after the passing of my mom in 2006, it took me a couple of years to stop mourning her death and celebrating her life. It started with the simple things such as the sounds of wind chimes in the evening breeze, the annual planting of the hanging baskets and pots on my deck, you see in times of sorrow or grief all it takes is to remember the things that made someone special to you.

Me and Don in Vegas

Me and Don in Vegas

Lee and Me at Arrowhead for NW vs Pitt

Lee and Me at Arrowhead for NW vs Pitt

A very good example of this is my memories of my best friend Mark’s father Norm who passed in 1996, most of all my memories about Norm involved Mark, but the best one doesn’t. Back in the early 90’s I was working for Mid-America Exotic Auto and we were buying and selling high line and muscle cars. One such car I brought was a 1969 Shelby GT500 convertible from a ford dealership in Chicago that had owned it since new, we gave them $45,000 for it back then (Today it’s a $250,000 car) after completing the purchase of the car the plan was to park the car in Mark’s father garage and make the drive back to KC in the morning. Upon arriving at Norm’s and parking the bright red Shelby in the driveway I was relieved to have it off the streets of Chicago. I am now standing in the driveway while Norm is admiring the Shelby when uncle Bob shows up, now this was not my first stay at the Yager’s and uncle Bob showing up to partake in a few Old Style’s was not unexpected, in fact I’d be surprised if he didn’t. I was already expecting a slight headache on the drive home in the morning. As I recall Norm said something about being low on beer, it was Bob’s statement that sent chills up and down my spine, “Let’s take the Shelby and go get some”. Yes you guessed it, I spent the next couple hours and a better part of a 12 pack of Old Style cruising around Oak Forrest IL with Norm and uncle Bob passing out beers and giving directions. Yes the head was hurting for the drive back to KC.

Is it wrong to have grief, sorrow or mourn after ones passing? Absolute not, in fact you should. But one must remember to celebrate their life and remember all the greatness in their lives and how they had positive effects in yours. As long as you remember them and celebrate them they will never be gone.

I’ll end this by quoting something that Norm would always say upon parting ways and Mark and me use with each other to this day,

Keep the Faith!


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