I can't believe it's Monday already but my calendar and my email say it is... so it must be. This weekend went by in a bit of a blur and I'm shocked it's over already. Mark's funeral, of course, took up a big portion of it. As I've said a few times since, it was awful and wonderful at the same time. It's always awful to say good-bye to someone you love, especially when they're gone too soon (and it's always too soon when you love someone, isn't it?). But it was wonderful for a few reasons... first, although I knew that Mark's amazing attitude and gifts of humor and love were far-reaching, I didn't realize just how far-reaching. I saw and heard and felt just how loved he was... and how much good he did in his 44 years. Well, I'm sure we only scratched the surface, as there wasn't enough time to tell all the stories that would have been necessary to give the big picture, but the picture was clear nonetheless.
As I sat in the church on Saturday, listening (and crying), I started taking stock of my own life (as one is wont to do when faced with mortality, eh?). I wondered if, when I die, there will be hundreds to mourn me; if there will be story after story of my good works and my good humor and my selflessness.
And I wasn't sure the answers would be 'yes'.
I don't want someone to stand up at my funeral and say, "Well, she had good intentions" ('cause most likely it'd be Mel and she'd totally want to make fun of me and then she'd get in some sort of jab about how I once thought epito-ME and epi-TOME were two different words and then I'd look stupid and then I'd get mad and I'd have to haunt her and blow out all her light bulbs and that'd just zap the extra energy I'm going to need to haunt my ex and blow out all his light bulbs and... ummm... what was I saying?).
Oh, right... back to the intentions thing... my intentions are and have always been good. My actions, though, have not always exemplified my intentions. And I can think of loads of excuses for why this is the case, but you know what? That's just what they are... excuses. Mark had real reasons for sitting on his butt (literally, as he spent the last long while in a wheelchair)... but he didn't. Instead, he did. He did what was asked of him and, more often, what wasn't. He saw a need - that of a single person or of an entire community - and he did what needed doing to meet that need. He gave of himself, even when he was physically weak and he had to feel there was little to give. He helped other people, even when he was suffering. He talked a load (and his talk was often punctuated by the filthiest jokes, which is one of the things I loved most about him... and why Mel called him, appropriately, her 'wholly inappropriate friend'), but he didn't just talk the talk... he walked the walk, even when he couldn't walk anymore.
This weekend caused me to stop and take a look at my life. It caused me to realize how much I value and miss friends I've had for half my life but don't see nearly enough. It caused me to want to make some changes. I've come a long way in the last year, I think, but not far enough. Mark's faith in God and himself took him to Africa, where he made many changes. I'm not sure I need to do that (though Maithri, if you have space on your next trip to Swaziland, I'm in, baby!), but my faith in Mark and myself tells me I can do far more than I'm doing.
So I'm on a mission to find more. I need to find more... 'cause I totally don't want Mel to spend 15 minutes of my eulogy devoted to my 'epitome' mistake.
Oh hell, who am I kidding? She'll do it anyway. Crap.