Yesterday, I attended the celebration of life service for a lovely man who died too soon at a mere thirty-five years of age. It was a beautiful service full of art and incredible memories. There were also a few regrets shared yesterday; friends who were sorry they hadn’t returned his phone calls from weeks and months ago. I’m sure more people in the audience had regrets. I did. I regret that I never went to one of his shows or met him for coffee when we were at PSU together
I knew Kenny in high school and in my college days at Central Oregon Community College. Life took us different directions. He went to Colorado (I told him he shouldn’t) and I got married– settled down. Strange life circumstances that I don’t think either one of us planned took us both to Portland State many years later. Although we shared a few messages we never connected in real time.
Kenny filled The Old Church where his service was held. He lived giving a lot of love. I just wonder how many didn’t love him back to the same degree?
I have no doubt that if my life ended today day I could fill a modestly sized church. I have a large family and I’ve had a lot of acquaintances and friends through the years. In reality however, there are really only a handful of people I interact with on an ongoing basis. Fewer who speak into my life. Finding people who will mutually make time for you seems to grow more and more rare. How many people at my supposed funeral would regret they didn’t return my call or text or share a cup of coffee? How many more funerals and services will I attend with regrets?
Community, connection… it is what keeps us whole. It is what makes this tough life easier. But there is so much that gets in the way and social media is such an empty substitute.
I’ve shied away from reaching out lately. Too many times I’ve been stood up or texts and calls have gone unanswered. After yesterday, I’ve decided I’d rather try and come up empty than never try at all. I’d rather try than have regrets. I’d rather be a Kenny.