It is a stunningly beautiful day here in Illinois - crisp, cool, bright sun, a gentle breeze and gold/scarlet leaves everywhere. As I'm enjoying the view at Estate du Pappers, sipping on my coffee, relaxing after doing a couple of hours of work around the estate, my mind is drawn to All Saints Day, which in my faith tradition is celebrated today. Everyone has stories, in their families, about death - when it came too early, when it came too late, when it was just right. And of course the memories of those we miss.
In my case, my father passed away when he was 28 and my mother when she was 52 - too young. I try to share with my children a sense of both of them - neither had a chance to know them, although my oldest was with my mother when she died, but he was less than a year old.
Here's a couple of quotes that I appreciate:
As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
Pale Death with impartial tread beats at the poor man's cottage door and at the palaces of kings.
It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death, should ever have been designed by Providence as an evil to mankind.
So, today, here's to the beauty of the world around us, the memories of those who have gone before us, and the possibilities of lives well-lived.