Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “mourning”

Trail of Tears

It is about 70 miles from our ranch to the church in Boulder where Bill’s funeral took place.

On the way there, I passed locations that reminded me of cases I had as a trial lawyer representing people injured or the families of people killed in car accidents.

There is where the college track star had the motorcycle collision that left him partially paralyzed and killed the girl riding on the back.  She had her arms around his waist.  Then life changed in an instant.  A life ended in an instant.

There is where the lady delivering newspapers stopped at a box and was rear-ended.  She suffered a brain injury.  I also helped her get Social Security disability.

There is the road where a drunk driver pulled out of a stop sign and hit my client’s car, knocking it into a cornfield and, again, causing a head injury to a man who is an engineer.

There is the highway where a teen going over 100 miles per hour side-swiped my clients’ car, sending it into a roll over which “de-gloved” the arm of the wife when the car rolled because her arm was out of the rolled-down passenger window on a hot day.  She also had hip surgery.

When I arrived at the funeral, I saw a couple sitting two pews away who had lost their son in March due to another drunk driver who is now in prison.  I represented them in their wrongful death case.

I had these memories of bad things that happened to good people who came to me for help.  My help is to get them money.  They would all gladly use the money to buy a ticket on a time machine to make the accident not have happened.  The justice I get for them is limited.  I wish I could do more.

Bill’s funeral was premature.  He was only 37.  In life, his family was his priority.  Even his death served to bring some family healing because a prodigal brother who had not spoken to their father in years came to the funeral and gave a beautiful tribute to Bill.  He also healed his rift with their father.

We do not understand the ways of the Lord, but we see good come out of bad situations.  We would never choose to go through painful events, but looking back, we can see that God is with us in these bad times.  He shares our pain.  He too knows what it is like to have a son die in his thirties.   He weeps with Bill’s father today.  He is with him.  And so is Bill.

Sunset, Sunrise


The world turns.  The sun sets and rises and sets and rises.

Each day there are tragedies and there are victories.

There are births and there are deaths.

There is happiness and sadness and emotions in between.

Every day.

Two days ago the world was aghast at the devastation and the deaths caused by the tornadoes in Oklahoma.  I felt very sad watching the news about the destruction.  I was horrified that two elementary schools were leveled.  Those poor children!

Yesterday, I called the home number of a friend to see if he and his wife were coming to our John Wayne party on Saturday, as I had not gotten a response to the e-vite that we sent to them.

The wife answered.  I cheerfully asked her, like we often do in starting a conversation, how she was doing.

The usual response is something like, “Fine.  How are you?”

She was not fine.  She told me that her husband “died last night.”

While people died in the tornado in Oklahoma, he died in Colorado, of cancer.  He had told me that he was doing chemotherapy.  A few weeks ago, in our last phone conversation, he said it would be completed in three more sessions and we could get together in May when he would have more energy.

While my wife and I prepared for a party, my friend was breathing his final breaths.

His daughter got on the phone.  She had flown in from New York City, where she is attending graduate school.  She had been with her parents for the past week, for the last week with her father.  She told me the services will be Friday.  She asked me to say a few words.  Of course, I am willing to do so.  I want to show my respect.  I want to honor her father’s memory.

I will go to the funeral on Friday, which is my birthday.

On Saturday we will have our annual John Wayne Party at the ranch.  The party that my friend attended in other years.

“There is a time to be born and a time to die…  A time to mourn and a time to dance… A time to weep and a time to laugh….”  Ecclesiastes 3.

Life goes on as we each feel different emotions in ever-changing moments when the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord, Who is with us in all those experiences.

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