One Saturday a few weeks ago, I attended two funerals and a wedding - each in itself a cause for reflection. The first funeral was for a colleague who died unexpectedly on the way home from work - an apparent heart attack. He was roughly my own age, and one day he was reviewing bid tabulations and calling vendors - performing the routine tasks of his job - and the next he was gone.
We worked together for more than 15 years and always got along well, but as I listened to family members describing him and the times they had shared I was struck by two things; 1) I didn't really know him, and 2) that if I had made the effort to know him better I would have learned that we had several common interests. Turns out we might have been friends.
The second funeral was for a 92 year old lady from church. As it turns out another colleague is married to her grandson - we had no idea of the connection until seeing one another at the funeral. Again I was reminded of the importance of building relationship, of taking the time to know people, of spending time on things that matter.
That evening we celebrated the wedding of the third daughter of longtime family friends. An especially poignant moment occurred during the ceremony as the bride's oldest sister walked down the aisle carrying her week-old daughter. She and her husband had lost their first child to a hereditary condition shortly after birth; there was not a dry eye in the house as the entire crowd of guests stood and applauded.
Life has a number of passages - birth, weddings, and funerals - all remind us that as life flows on, the relationships we nurture are the things that make the journey rich.