There is an odd fascination that I have recently acquired. I have been reading the obituaries from the Aspen Times. They aren’t in the paper every day. Aspen is a small but very well known beautiful spot in Colorado. My parents discovered it in the ’60s. My father was an avid athlete. He loved to challenge himself. As soon as he found a sport that interested him he attacked the sport with great gusto. I can’t say the rest of the family had the same inclination let’s just say we sort of followed along. He found handball, played that, then tennis, played that to win, then he added jogging, he did that when people assumed he was running in his underwear, and then last but not by any means least, skiing, when people thought you were talking about waterskiing. Water skiing was much too easy for my dad he had to ski on snow. He started this when you often had to walk up a hill or mountain to ski down the mountain.
Well, back to my story about obituaries.
My parents built a house right outside of the main entrance of Aspen. If you know Aspen you see a church steeple on the right-hand side on a hill driving into Aspen from the airport. Well if you turn into that road on the right and follow it to the dead end, that is where my parents built their house. It is gone now but someone else built a home on that spot and his or her new home looks a lot like my parent’s old house. The trees are still there but taller now. Aspen has become a pretty famous spot since the late ’60s. Movie stars, and politicians, and millionaires and now billionaires from all over the world have visited or bought giant homes and ranches in and around the area. Lots of really interesting people have made Aspen a place to rejuvenate themselves after their lives (that are often filled with business, and politicking, and intrigue, and running giant companies and countries) have tired them out. They look to the mountains and fresh air for sustenance. When these titans of industry and such, pass on, they carry their obits in the Aspen Times. I get the Times on my phone because I have posted ads in The Times usually searching for new employees for my very small business, located in Aspen.
I usually check my phone in the mornings as soon as I can find my glasses to check on the latest news and the latest disasters. Every few days there is an obituary in the Aspen paper. I can’t stop myself. I stop whatever I am doing and I read about someone’s extraordinary life that is now over. Let me tell you, there are a lot of extraordinary people that have spent some of their extraordinary life in Aspen. Giant men of business, worldwide travelers, huge men, and women that somehow have lived very BIG IMPORTANT LIVES, sometimes under the radar of the world stage. I read about their lives fascinated by each and every one of these men and women. How did they have the strength and fortitude to do what they did to almost move mountains in their short or long lives? Often you can see if from childhood, working their way up the ladder, going to college and getting degrees, some lots of degrees, going to war, fighting wars and returning to get married, have children, and growing bigger and better and often changing the world.
My father was a bit like this. He was a mover and a shaker. He had tons of energy, lots of strength, and good looks and he had ideas. Not just ideas but creative ideas and he didn’t accept or think about failure. These people aren’t made they are born with this kind of strength to succeed. Some people have it, most don’t.
When I read about these lives sometimes it makes me feel small. Sometimes it makes me feel like I haven’t done enough or lived enough. Sometimes it makes me feel unimportant.
Being just small, little me, made me contemplate what is really important? I think I know.
I have decided that life is made up of moments. Just moments. Some are wonderful, some are bad, and some have been frightening and some heartbreaking. They are just moments. But what makes life worth living are the magical moments. There are a lot of them.
Very often these moments are just looking at something beautiful. Sometimes it can be an accomplishment but it can also be a feeling. A cold glass of Champagne. A perfect dinner of eggs and truffles with good friends. A perfect kiss on a street under a streetlamp in New York City. Looking at your newborn baby boy. Finding out you are pregnant at the grand old age of 43. Graduating not once but twice with college degrees when you were told not to apply because there wasn’t a college that would accept you. BTW all of them did. Meeting your mother for lunch at the Ritz and sitting right next to a movie star who looked lonely. Having a glass of bandy with your dad and discussing life and films. Laughing, belly laughs, with your sisters. Smelling the ocean and listening to the waves. Walking your dog in autumn while crunching the dry leaves as you walk. I could go on and on.
I guess you have figured it out too. These great men and women really had important lives but really if you had a conversation with them after they have left their mortal coil behind, I think they might agree that life is just made up of moments. What we remember and live for are the magical moments.
This is what I wish for you, more magical moments.
Until the Next Time…