Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A letter written in the sand to those who died too young...

My mother's brother, Uncle Rico, died over 22 years ago in a single-engine plane crash. He was only 40 years old. Since then, every time my mother goes to the beach, she writes him a note in the sand. It says...

"Hi, Rico"

As you probably know, my mother accompanied our family on our trip to California, then New York this summer. When we were on the beach, she wrote the word "hi", then realized that since the last time she was on a beach, two more loved ones have died.... first my husband, then her husband. So this is what she wrote...


In case you can't make it out, it says "Hi Ed, Rob, + Rico" It made me sad because all of these men shouldn't have died so young, at ages 36, 40, and 63. They each died because of lifestyle choices they made and sometimes it even makes me mad. When I visit my mom and watch my twins laugh and play, I mourn because I feel like my father should be there laughing with us. Why couldn't he have taken better care of himself and lived a longer, more enjoyable life? Yes, many say that God had a plan for him, that it was his time, but I have also come to believe that God gives us free agency, the ability to choose our path, and sometimes, due to our own weaknesses and poor decisions, we can shorten our own lives even though God would have preferred we'd made different decisions.

What do you think? How much control do we have over our own longevity? Or is it our time when it's our time. I'd love to read your opinions in the comment section.

Thanks for listening.


alessandra said...

I saw this picture on your other blog, but I couldn't read it.
So sad.
I think that what you say it's true, someone says it's written in our destiny, someone says we have all in our hands, I say that I don't know.
I do my best to live a better life, to be happy, to be healthy but it's not so easy.
About your Dad, may be he did wrong, but probably that was the best he could do.
we are not the same, what's easy for you ( let's talk about chopping wood, or having .... how many children till now?) can be very hard for another.
Big hugs, to your Mum too.

Jay Nelly said...

My dad smokes during my childhood and I used to watch him and worry that he would die. Thankfully he decided to stop smoking for the past 20 years but unfortunately died of lung cancer 3 years ago. He was 76 and people tell me he lived a long life but I know different. His mum and dad both lived until they were near 100 and his older siblings are all well and healthy. I know that smoking shortened his life and he should be here. Like you I get angry and sad that he never meet my two youngest children and he will never see them grow up and marry. He used his free agency but as alessandra said, he lived this life the best he could. He didn't have the Gospel and doesn't know what I know. All I can do is his Temple work and wait until we are together in the eternities but I still miss him now.

Unknown said...

My boyfriend died in a freak motorbike accident. He left for work, saying he loved me and would see me later, and 30 minutes later had died. It's just over a year, and it burns sometimes, because I miss him as a friend these days, one of those friends that knows you inside and out. His boss came round and said "Maybe I should have given him the whole day off." I told him not to worry - Rich had done 2 tours of Afghanistan, and yet died on a quiet English road. Sometimes, it's just God wants you home now.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

I'm so sorry for both of you for your losses. S'me, when things like that happen so suddenly, it can leave us in shock for quite a long time. It is comforting to feel like it was someone's time that The Lord needed them home.

Rebecca said...

I do believe that when we follow certain commandments we receive certain blessings. We can make choice and receive quality of life, energy . . . Though it is not a guarantee. God still is in control, some get sick anyway, some have accidents or challenges anyway, and some are taken anyway but with the sure knowledge that because they had done all that they knew how to do their days were not numbered less.

We do have agency and when we choose the first step down a path we are also choosing the last.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Rebecca, you said...

"We do have agency and when we choose the first step down a path we are also choosing the last."

I really like that and had never heard it before.

Rhonda said...

My father smoked for a very large portion of his life. Lung cancer took his life in the end (though I do have to say that many, MANY people get lung cancer and never smoked a DAY in their lives nor were they exposed to it!-just my little PSA).

I have never been angry with him even though I do miss him and miss his presence in my life and the life of my children.

I feel my anger would in some way be a judgement toward him and I cannot judge anothers addictions or weaknesses. I can only say that I loved him, I'm sorry he smoked, and I'm sorry he's gone. I KNOW if he could take it back he would. And I leave it at that.

Breezi@ Not Your Average Fairytale said...

I think it's a little of everything.

Heavenly Father does take some very young because it's his plan-

To some, he makes covenants with about their life and health.(for example my Patriarchal blessing says that IF I follow all aspects of the word of wisdom, I will be blessed to have no serious illness or diseases and will live a long and healthy life.)-

To others he let's live no matter their life style choices- for ex: my grandfather who smoked for 65 years lived to be in his 80's. It was his drinking and smoking that got him in the end... but he still lived a long life-

And there are those who have their agency to take their own lives at whatever time the person chooses they are done living.

I'm not sure of all of Heavenly Father's plans- I wish I knew his whole picture and got to see what he sees- but I guess I just need to have faith that he's the one in charge and knows what he is doing.

Kristin said...

Amen, Jen. I often feel a twinge of sadness (and yeah, a little irritation) when I think about calling Dad and telling him something funny that the kids did, or something of importance that's happening in my life. Hope our beloved men take better care of themselves, huh?