It's interesting to me how life sometimes folds back on itself. There I was, last Monday, thinking about the quality of the life I'd like to have, funeral flowers, and other somber thoughts, and then it was Friday and I was at a funeral, thinking nearly the same thoughts. A sort of thought tesseract. Kendell's Uncle Buffalo lived a good, long life and had been having heart problems for awhile, but we were all sad to see him go, of course. The funeral was held at the Camp Williams Veteran Cemetery. I've lived in this county my entire life, but I'd never realized this place existed. The cemetery is set on a hill, and I said several times that Buff would have a lovely view of Mt. Timp, even if it's a second-best mountain (he grew up around the Tetons and I think we were all sad not to be able to bury him there). The funeral was held in the morning, and it was freezing; everyone was gathered around the casket with spare blankets from cars or simply dressed in shivers. As I listened to the talks---a sort of life sketch, remembrances by different family members---I couldn't help but wonder when my own funeral might come along. That sounds morbid, which isn't the direction I want to go. Death just has that affect: it makes you stop and think am I doing enough with my life? Am I developing my talents, loving my family and friends, and savoring as much as I can? This seems to be a life theme I keep bumping up against lately. That it keeps coming up is making me consciously consider my choices and my actions, seeing where I am wasting time and emotional energy.
The other fold happened after the talks and prayers. Buff had served in the army during World War II---he was in the battles at Okinawa and other places in the Pacific theater. His casket was draped with a flag, and after the more religious parts, the one lone soldier there played Taps, and then the flag was folded. As they moved through the precise, triangular ritual, I had a memory come to me as clear as if it were happening right then, standing by my grandpa Fuzz's grave and watching his military flag being folded. That was a cold funeral too, in December. Just for a second I could remember how it felt to be twelve years old and experiencing someone's death for the first time, hearing that somber music, missing my grandpa, and then I was just me, older. It still feels the same, the funeral, the way that music fills up every sad corner and makes you weep. I still miss Grandpa Fuzz. We all already miss Uncle Buffalo. Haley was under one of my arms, Jake the other, and Nathan in front of me, each of them having this experience for the first time.
I feel like life is telling me something. It's inspiring an urgency in me to get busy. And I am intent on using the energy of that intensity to follow through and accomplish a few goals. It's time.