Sunday, August 30, 2009

On Mortality

I returned this weekend from a short vacation in Southeast Maine. It was only a few days but we got to visit some of our favorite places -- walked along Marginal Way, ate at Wild Willy's, enjoyed the view at Long Sands, played at Short Sands, poked around the shops, went to Bread and Roses in Ogunquit, and more.

We also went to visit our friend Paulette, who lost her husband Peter earlier this year. Peter and Paulette owned the B&B that introduced us to the area, and in the years that they opened their home, we were frequent guests. They retired and closed the place a couple years back, but we stayed in touch, and were saddened when Peter passed after a short battle with cancer. This was our first trip to Maine after Peter's death, and it was hard knowing that we wouldn't be able to count on his unique local point of view. While it warmed our hearts to see Paulette, it was a sobering reminder of the frailty of our lives.

And so, as my wife, myself, and our daughter sat overlooking low tide on Marginal Way, I pondered quietly the nature of things. I looked ahead into the future and saw a world where my daughter was old and gray, and my wife and I were gone. I pictured her sitting on that same cliff, overlooking the ocean, and thinking of us. I wondered what life she would lead, what lessons we'd pass on before we left her.

While we were traveling Senator Kennedy died, as did Dick Egan, the founder of the company I work for. They led different lives but both had huge impacts. I won't leave the kind of legacy they did. I just hope I do something right enough that someone stands and thinks of me fondly on a quiet morning overlooking a still sea.

And I hope it's a long, long time from now.

No comments: