It was so foggy this morning as I drove to school. It was really pretty and peaceful, which was somewhat calming as I drove the 20+ miles of parking lot (i.e. Interstate 65) into Nashville. I found myself feeling somewhat reflective. I thought about the past 10 years. Ten years ago today, October 30, 1997 I was a senior in high school. I also attended a friends funeral. He was 15 and died after a year long battle with cancer. It's amazing to realize how much time and life has passed since that day and yet how the lessons learned from that time still reside so closely to me. I learned so much about family and friends and the importance of communication with those around you and with you. I learned about the importance of hope, the power of prayer, the feeling of loss. I learned over time that life goes on and yet as the days grow more and more since that person was on the earth, you always carry a part of them, a part of your time and experience with them. I can't say that he and I were very close. We had really just become friends when he was diagnosed. The truth is I learned more about him after he died than I had when he lived.
That was my first real experience with loss, with the finality of death. Since that time I have become more aware of it. Recent years have taken the lives of those I was close to, of those who I now carry in my heart. That has allowed me to develop a deeper understanding for true loss. At times I wonder if I have become indifferent to death. I remember a period of three work weeks in which 19 patienst died, some of which I was quite close to. Death can change you.
But those changes aren't always bad. Especially when you are a person of faith and the finality of death is not so ugly or infinite or empty. Knowing that there is hope is a blessing. But it does change you.
I suppose that when your work is centered on life it must encompass death as death is a part of life.
I have always had a desire to be involved in health care. To study the truly amazing human body that God has granted each of us. To help bear and share in the burden of injury and illness. It's a funny calling I suppose.
The fog was quite beautiful this morning.