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The measure of a life...
We each have the 24/7, yet some leave life having added so much good to the world, while others seem to whimper off in silence, self-centered, so unnoted.
Doing the most good with the one life we are given involves conscious choices. We can make some of those choices today..
A recent funeral...
Last Saturday I attended the funeral of a dear friend who died of cancer at age 54.
Martha never married, though she would have, if a right man had asked.
She never had the children she would have loved and raised to adulthood.
When her life did not include having her own offspring, Martha figuratively "adopted" her nieces and nephews, some 30 or so of them, for Martha was the middle child in her family of 11 brothers and sisters.
She never stopped being the anchor of her brothers and sisters. If they ever needed her help or counsel, her listening ear, or her love, she was there for them.
Working as a self-employed landscape professional with two masters degrees, Martha could (and did) "just happen to pop in" when she was needed, where she was needed, and when she was needed most.
Sometimes it might be in a box on the porch dressed up as a dog, or in London, England to give some love to a troubled niece.
Whenever she showed up, eyes opened wide with excitement, and "Aunt Martha is here!" rang out from happy voices.
It is enough just to say that not only did Martha answer requests for help and inspiration, she anticipated them, and hearts just grew and grew.
Martha was indeed the anchor for a family that grew and grew, too.
When cancer hit, she lived on with courage, working and sharing to the end of her life when "It felt like something exploded inside me!"
The family had time to gather, for Martha never stopped submitting to anything that might allow for the miracle that never came. And she never stopped being grateful for the love and support others shared with her, just as she had shared her life with others.
We don't always get our wishes fulfilled, but Martha spent her life consciously fulfilling the wishes of others. In so doing, her own life was full of precious, shared memories.
Yes, Martha is gone.
Something of Martha lives on.
Is the world "less" because she is gone, as one day you and I will be gone? Or, is the world "richer" because this Martha was here?
Take life by the horns, not to trumpet your presence, but to wrestle with all that life throws at you...each and every opportunity to make a positive difference 24/7.
Few are the people who tire of doing good. Many are the people who rarely wake up to doing the real good they could.
It doesn't take much to make a real difference in the lives of others. Volunteers do so every day, and on into some long nights.
The pandemic has allowed us to see heroes all around us, even sacrificing their own lives for the health, safety, and wellbeing of others.
Too few received medals for their heroism, or even recognition of their sacrifice.
Some left behind their own children, while trying to save the children and parents of others.
What is the measure of a life?
Martha and these true heroes have lived lives that raised the standard a little higher for all of us to measure up toward.
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© 2022 Demas W Jasper