Hmm, celebrate. What an interesting topic to come up today. God works in wonderful ways. Let me explain further.
A couple of months ago I saw the video that you’ll find at the end of this post. Be sure that you read through then take time to watch the video. I knew I had to share it with you guys so I placed it on my calendar as a post idea. The date I selected was today, August 27, 2012. Little did I know of the coincidence that was to come.
You see, my good friend from high school Ronnie “Tiny” Adams was buried this past weekend. He was just 48 years old. He and I were in our high school band together. Ronnie was a saxophone player and I played clarinet.
We became fast friends. Ronnie lived just about a block from my house and he was a couple of years older than me. That meant he drove before I did, so I had someone to ride to band practice with. If you weren’t in the band in high school, you might not understand the work that goes in to a halftime performance. We had a two-week band camp each summer, many weeks of Tuesday and Thursday night practices, and of course the Friday night games. Then there was competition weekends where we played in music festivals. The Tarrant Blue Regiment was awesome back then. It was almost like a sport in regards to preparation. It was nice to have someone to ride with that was going that direction. It took a burden off of my parents, which I didn’t realize at the time because I was a self-centered teenager who just wanted his way.
So, Ronnie and I spent a lot of time together. We would go out on Friday and Saturday nights after football season, cruising at Eastwood mall in his fastback Mustang. We turned up the music really loud and stopped to talk to friends and girls and just enjoy life. We didn’t know it, but we knew how to celebrate back then.
Sadly, we parted ways. Ronnie remained in Birmingham but I joined the Coast Guard and moved away. As life would have it, we lost touch. That was in the days before the Internet and free long distance so we didn’t stay connected.
A couple of years ago I found Ronnie on Facebook. I had long been back in Birmingham and he too was still here. But I just made a connection on Facebook. Although we shared a lot of laughs and good times together in the past, I never made an effort to even meet with him just for a lunch. Just the occasional “Roll Tide” and “Happy Birthday” on Facebook.
He wasn’t even married. Never had kids. Can you imagine the lonely existence that Ronnie faced many days, months, years? What could I have brought to his life by just making time for lunch one day with him? Just reminiscing on our past would have been a great way to celebrate our friendship.
Of course I thought there would always be time. We’re all so busy as adults that it’s tough to carve out time for ourselves and our friends. I am justified in that because I work, take care of my family, exercise and go to church. I’m serving others through this blog. Making time for friends is just tough. And don’t we have Facebook and social media to stay connected?
But it’s important. Be sure that you’re making time for others.
It looks like my friend lived a nice, full life. There are a lot of tributes to him on Facebook and elsewhere. But I’m positive that on this day Ronnie is screaming down at us from the top of his lungs “Enjoy life!!! Make time for your friends and family! Time is precious!”
Also this weekend, my precious middle school teacher Ms. Park buried her husband Robert Kirksey. I attended the funeral on Saturday and you could tell she really loved him. The words spoken about Mr. Kirksey indicated that he lived a full life. He enjoyed time with others. He worked to better the lives of kids through recreational sports. And he took care of Ms. Park’s sons like they were his own, even though they weren’t. The funeral was more of a celebration of a life well-lived than a time of mourning. Mr. Kirksey is probably also encouraging all of us to celebrate life, and life it to the fullest.
And finally, my middle son Nick was baptized this weekend. He made his profession of faith in front of my church family at Northpark Baptist church this weekend. He sealed his deal with God so that he will become a resident of Heaven someday. We all celebrated yesterday when he went under. Nick, I’m proud of you.
So, that sets up the coincidence in this post. I was going to go into my typical tips to be sure that you celebrate a little each day. But I won’t. I hope this story has served up a nice lesson on this. It has for me. Here’s to my buddy Ronnie. Farewell my friend; I hope we’ll meet up again in Heaven and pick up where we left off in high school. Here’s to Mr. Kirksey. Although I didn’t know him, I wanted to tell him thanks for taking care of Ms. Park all of these years. I hope to meet you someday in Heaven as well. And I’m sure glad my son Nick will be there in Heaven. Then, we’ll all celebrate for sure.
So the question is, what will you do to celebrate life going forward?
Enjoy this video. These parents get it.