Today was my friend's dad's memorial service. You wouldn't think I'd count it as a Good Thing but it was a true celebration of this man's life. Standing room only, the auditorium rang with voices raised in praise, in laughter, and song. Of course there were tears. A man so full of joy, wonder and silliness is going to be deeply missed. I was so proud of my friend, of the words he chose to sketch an honest picture of his dad. Doug McLean touched a lot of lives. Whether you met him once, or knew him for a lifetime, he made a deep impression.
He was full of schemes and ideas and curiosity about the way the world worked - as well as how to make it better. He opened his home to all that needed that a hand, shared all that he had, all that he'd learned.
His son and I have known each other for lifetimes. It's not always been easy to share space but we've persevered. Father and son were very alike in both the maddening and magical. Guess which usually wins out?
It was nice to sit at the back of the room with our friends and my mother. To watch people celebrate not only Doug's life but the life he built with his wife of 60 years, Betty, and their children. To see his sons stand with his stance, waving their hands to make their point. To hear their laughs, deep and booming, full of humour and appreciation for a story well-told.
I held my mom's hand and was so grateful to be sharing the day with her. To know that my life has been full of people that care about each other, help each other and teach each and every one of us that life is an amazing gift. Unwrap it, enjoy it, revel in it.