I’m ironically sitting in the Denver International Airport, reading about the recent shooting massacre at the movie theatre just 17 miles southwest of me. I know I know, everything’s been said, everything’s been reported, everyone knows, blah blah blah blah old news, let’s move on. (Such is the attention of our internet generation.)
But today I’m reading about the lives of the 12 victims, and I know I look a fool here sitting at the recharge station with my stupid watery eyes and tight mouth trying not to make any sounds.
I know it’s nothing, it’s just a newspaper article (or as it stands, a news blob).. but I am amazed at the simplicity of how the sum of one’s life is boiled down to how people remember you.
“He was a ball of joy.”
“That’s how he wanted to go — defending someone from a (person) like that.”
“I am so lucky to have been his friend.”
“They’re really fun people.”
I suppose I’m just thinking about all those wise statements from old people as they get closer to death, about what’s supposedly really important. And I read these stories and notice one common thing: people are remembered for their hopes and dreams and their attitudes on life.
And this provides a moment of clarity for me. Am I living the life I planned on? In the career I thought? Is every moment of my life dedicated to making money or making a difference? Maybe it’s a wake up call from the gods? For me, for us, for someone.
I sigh. I look around the airport and see people in the ordinary light. A man picks up a toy a kid dropped and gives it to her. A woman buys her cup of coffee and takes off the lid and inhales the aroma just a second before adding creamer. A man in a baseball hat reads “The Success Principles”. An old man sits and smiles benignly at people passing by, his violin case on his lap. Life is good. So incredibly good in its ordinary-ness. How does one improve on that?
And I’m filled with more turmoil, trying to see the message of what’s in front of me and in the deaths of these people who went to the movies and never came home.