Passing of a Classmate

Laura MathewsToday on Facebook I saw an announcement that a high school classmate of mine passed away a few days ago.  Laura Mathews passed away of an unexpected illness.

I remember Laura but I did not know her very well since we were in different “cliques” in school.  I was one of the rowdy, smoking, crazy, mischievous guys. Laura was a quiet friendly girl who kept to herself and close friends. She was smart, self-confident, and pretty. She had a very pretty smile. I recall that she was really into Punk Rock and New Wave music. Both of which were a new style of music in the late 70’s, early 80’s. Her love for Punk Rock music followed her throughout adulthood and she had an online presence known as Punk Rock Gardens.  She was on Twitter and also blogged a bit, and of course on Facebook.Her Facebook page is full of flowers and plants of all kinds.

Though I did not know Laura very well and the last time I saw her was at our high school graduation in 1983 I still feel a sadness and loss. It hits me hard that another person who crossed my life path is gone and it reminds me that every day we have alive is a precious gift.

When I read the comments on the Go Fund Me page to assist with her burial expenses I can see that she was well liked and respected by the many people who know her.  I can only assume, but I believe I am correct in saying, that she enjoyed life and the beauty of nature.

When I think about her passing I also think about all the friends and family I have lost over the years. It seems that since I turned 45 a few years ago that I know more and more people who are no longer living.  My grandparents, father, multiple coworkers and friends. When I think about all these people who are gone I feel more and more lonely. I think about my still living 94-year-old step-grandmother Ann Boyer, who is still driving her own car, and wonder how a person this old can deal with all the loses of so many people in life. I am sure many people deal with it based upon their religious beliefs and the hope of seeing their loved ones again. But many people, such as I, don’t believe in an afterlife such as is spoken of in many religious. It does not pain me to think that I will never see these people again. The memories I have of them is sufficient enough to bring me happiness.

I am only 51 and Laura must have been 50. I make plans for retirement and imagine what my life will be like when I am 70 or 80 years old. Then I remember that nothing is guaranteed.  Therefore I make it my goal to live my life to the fullest I can and am always looking for new adventures.

I hope that everyone who reads this spends a little bit of time today thinking about loved ones and friends who have passed away.  And remember that you are still here but time is short. Make the best of your life no matter what your circumstances. Hug your family and friends. We need the touch of another human to confirm that we are alive. Don’t sweat the small things and don’t be quick to anger. Be careful with your tongue because you will probably forget hurtful things you say, but the recipient of the words may not. Someday each one of us will die but until then I wish for you “Long Days and Pleasant Nights.”


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