Thursday, February 17, 2005

Life is Precious; Life is Fragile

I made the long, delightful drive last evening up Rte. 125 to the sleepy village of Barrington, NH to visit my son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and brand new grandson. I felt like Santa Claus, bearing sacks of bargains I had culled from the racks at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls - a dress, a coat, mittens for Laurelin; sleepers, snugglies and little boy outfits for two-week–old Amet. (Anyone who really knows me must be chuckling at the mental image of the White Rhino charging through the aisles of these exclusive boutiques looking for baby clothes and dresses!)

During the course of my visit – between cappuccinos, slices of yogurt pie and handfuls of popcorn – I had several opportunities to hold and to rock Amet. Ti and Raluca did not want him to fall asleep between rounds of nursing, hoping that he would sleep for a few straight hours later that night. So, I did my best to keep him awake as I rocked him. I talked to him, and then I began to sing to him. The instant I began to sing, he turned his head and his saucer-sized eyes to me and locked onto my eyes in a gaze that seemed to last an eternity. This may strike you as a paterfamilias’ hyperbole, but it seemed as if he were saying through his prolonged scrutiny of my face: “This is our first chance to get to know each other, Grampy.” I had held him when he was barely an hour old, but this was different. Those moments – perhaps 20 uninterrupted minutes of taking each other’s measure – were moments that I will treasure forever. They were transcendent. Life is a precious gift.

The memories of last night were still fresh in my mind when I clicked on my car radio this morning to catch to 6:00 news on WBZ. How shocking to learn that Tedy Bruschi of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots is lying in Mass. General Hospital with stroke-like symptoms – including partial paralysis and loss of vision. I immediately offered up prayers for Tedy and his family, and then my mind turned to one of the most indelible images I retain from Super Bowl XXXIX. A few hours before the game, Bruschi was photographed on the field wrestling and romping with his two little boys. On the brink of one of the biggest moments of his professional life, he found time to take delight in his role as a father. I am sure for Tedy, these were moments that he will treasure forever. They were transcendent. Life is a fragile gift.

Take time today to make a call, send a card, shoot an e-mail to someone who will be surprised and delighted to hear from you. And go the extra mile and tell that person you love them. Life is precious; life is fragile. Carpe diem!



Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading about your family and your priceless experience Al.
To be money rich can be nice but I'd rather be rich in family.
Sounds like you are!

Unknown said...

I hadn't heard about Bruschi yet... that's so bad. I too have an "indelible memory" of his two boys tackling him. I hope he recovers quickly...

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading the book, "Tuesdays with Morrie." Great book by the way, but I'm sure you've already read it. It was striking to me the similarities between your message and the message in the book. Just thought I would share that.
- Andy Peix

Anonymous said...

Dear Al,

One of the many humbling lessons in my life is that, as you eloquently articulated, every life is precious and that we are all fragile human beings. As I came to that realization, I became very determined to value each and every conversation, encounter, and relationship as a wonderful blessing.

As always, congratulations for making the world a better place.