Life Essentials

The sun comes up, the sun goes down. We go to work, we come home. We plan our weekends, and for most of us they are a combination of some fun and some errands. Lots of routine. The months fly by, the seasons change, the years pass. We can’t believe how old we are.

Do you ever stop and think about what actually fills your days, and what is most important to you? What is truly essential to your life, and does your life has enough of what you consider to be essential.   A connection to nature. Great sex. Continued education. Traveling the world. Fine wine. Lasting friendships. Spirituality.  The list goes on, and each of us would choose differently if we had to pick our top three.

What led me to this topic you might ask.  It was my brother-in-law’s recent burial. If you read my previous post on ‘Funeral Attire’, you know that we lost Paul unexpectedly, which was especially sad for my sister and his six children.  Because he was cremated, the burial took place a few weeks after the funeral, and was private.

It was a raw, chilly day in June, light rain alternating with downpours. About twenty five of us gathered at the cemetery, all coming from various locations…Paul’s children, siblings, his father, and many extended family members.   As we walked toward the gravesite, the sound of bagpipe music could be heard in the distance, something we arranged in respect of Paul’s partly Scottish heritage and love for music. So very beautiful. Because of the rain, we huddled under a tent where Paul’s family recited prayers and shared  heartfelt words of remembrance.  The bagpiper played Amazing Grace.  Many hugs were exchanged as we stood on the wet earth, spoken words barely needed to communicate our sadness.  As we were ready to leave, Paul’s younger brother quietly said, “For those of you that may not know, we are all invited back to Shelley’s house for a light lunch,” to which one of the grown children replied, “What are we having?” (After all, he was half Italian.)   It was a relief to laugh.

This day strongly reinforced my three life essentials:

  • Family
  • Music
  • Good food

Family is probably up there on many people’s top three…the ‘good food’ maybe not.  Maybe it’s party due to my Armenian heritage, but a meal is more than life sustenance.  Sharing a meal with others is comforting, and enjoying good food on a daily basis is something I value more as I get older…and you know what they say about music?  It feeds the soul.  Not a day goes by without music in my life, and the louder the better.

What about clothes/fashion, you say?  Sure, it’s way up there, standout style is part of who I am.  But put me in jeans and a tee with my family around me, turn up the music and pass the ceviche; I call that heaven.

FAMILY! July, 2013, Wellfleet, MA



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