I currently sit here in my home on an evening when I should be at DePauw for First-Year Experience Mentor training because of unfortunate circumstances.
This past Wednesday, my uncle passed away, at the age of 68. His passing was after a very intense battle with colon cancer, which had led him to be bedridden for the past month, if not more. His loss is tremendous, but the fact that he is no longer suffering is a kind of solace that we must divulge in because there is nothing else.
The thing that really hit me hard was the realization, as my dad had mentioned, that my uncle was only twenty days older than my dad is. That kind of reminder of our own mortality, and how fragile life really is, can be tremendously humbling.
This came along with a remembrance of a person who would have been on the DePauw First Year Experience staff this year who passed away this past summer. She would have been a Junior at DePauw like myself, and, although I didn’t know her very well at all, hearing all the wonderful things that I did about her, it certainly made me realize how a wonderful person had been called to God much before anyone here really wanted her to.
All of this has made me realize that life needs to be lived. As cliche as that sounds, it’s extremely easy to let life pass you by and just let it happen, but you have to realize that you’re not going to remember that one time you took a nap on a Friday afternoon. You’re going to remember the time you went out and volunteered, or saw the sunrise, or watched the sunset, or stayed up all night talking with one of your best friends, because we tend to remember our lives in that sort of episodic kind of way.
Create those moments; seek those opportunities; don’t wake up and realize that you didn’t follow your dream or you didn’t get up the courage to ask that person out who you think is really cute.
But don’t only challenge yourself to live your life, but challenge others too. Draw that person out of their comfort zone, and expect the same out of them.
The mentor/facilitator in me is alive and well. I think my first fear about returning as a mentor was that I was going to be too complacent, but if you try your hardest to own your experiences, then you’re going to reap great rewards.
I know I’m going to try my hardest. I hope you do too.
Not to soapbox, but I’m going to put a Bible verse here that I find comfort in in times of loss. Rest in Peace, Uncle Jim and Shelby Evans.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”