Take Gap. Give Gap. On excellence, joy and celebration.
I was thinking today about my friend Mark Pekar and what a joy he was in my life for more than twenty years. This time last spring he was gravely ill and mere weeks away from hospice. In mid-summer, I was blessed to speak to a large crowd at his memorial service.
I shared that he “loved being the center of attention, yet he loved watching others shine. He loved succeeding, and equally celebrated other’s successes. ‘A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.’* His was a generous spirit.”
Memory of Mark was keen today as I visited with other long-time friends:
Sylvia is so proud of her grandchildren that she beams.
Donna had a breakthrough in establishing and enforcing emotional boundaries.
Betsy earned an A in a class from a professor who does not give A’s. (Free tuition at state colleges and universities in Georgia is a bonus that comes with Medicare and Social Security! I only have ten years to go.)
Charlie is also a returning student (though not even old enough for an AARP card) and will graduate Sunday, to embark on a new career for which he is splendidly suited and prepared.
Peggy and Gibbs are in a new home that fits them perfectly and makes them smile.
And my friend Carol, having regained some of the vision lost in one eye, is doing nearly everything she wants to do with resourcefulness and élan. She’s piecing a new quilt, and loved one of the fabrics so much that she hugged it.
There used to be a road sign on Lakewood Freeway that read
Give and take. Take and give. Everyone gets his or her turn to lead, or follow. Then it changes again.
Recent months have been exceedingly challenging, but the successes of treasured friends or family can make my spirit soar. Some days I share joy by lighting the candle. Other times, I find joy by having my candle lit.
* Quote from Father James Keller