You are gathered with your people, your tribe. Maybe, it’s a holiday, birthday, or a dinner. Everyone is there. But who is your everyone? Who is in your circle? And is that circle perfect? Is every point on the circle equidistant from the center? Are they all huddled together and forming one complete line?
One thing this life guarantees is that over time your everyone will change. The circle will change.
Maybe as a child, your circle was your grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and best friends. And as you moved on in life, your spouse, children, and in-laws joined that circle. Your everyone grew. The circle widened.
But our circles also fall into themselves.
With the passing of my Aunt L., my everyone has shrunk. My circle has changed.
The circle has a gap.
For those of us who remain, we must mourn. We must grieve. We must offer comfort to each other.
Earlier this week, Oren Miller passed away. Oren was a couple of years younger than me. He was married and had two young children. He was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last year and ultimately succumbed to the disease.
With Oren’s passing, the Miller family’s everyone has shrunk. Their circle has changed.
Their circle has a gap.
Those that remain must mourn. They must grieve. They must offer comfort to each other.
Oren was the founder of the dad bloggers Facebook group. The group has over 1000 members and continues to grow steadily.
Why does the group grow?
Well, it’s a virtual place where we dads can talk about our children – highs and lows and everything in between. We can ask for help and offer assistance. We can rant and rave. We can laugh and sing. We can smile and cry. We can simply share. Sounds like a kind of family – doesn’t it?
Oren started the group. Oren epitomized the group.
And so our dad blogger family has lost an everyone. Our circle has changed.
So, we must mourn. We must grieve. And we must offer comfort to each other.
And our circle has a gap.
But circles don’t end.
They transform, and they reform. The circle’s integrity will endure.
We reach out to each other. We pull together and fill in the gaps. Hands don’t get left dangling.
But what about those who’ve left the circle? Well, they don’t leave completely. They hover in our memories, in our stories, and in our hearts. Their words and actions impact and inspire us long after they’ve let go of our hands. They push us to reach out and hold hands and reconnect, to remember the beauty of being as one, of being part of an everyone. Our new everyone pulls together till no physical gaps remain. No hands are left dangling.
Together we take comfort in the fleeting images – their smiles, their sensitivity, and their stories – of those we’ve lost.
We also take comfort in the future. We know that someday the circle will grow again. It will widen and room will be made. New hands will be added. Along will come hands gathered together in marriage, along will come plump baby hands, and along will come hands taken in friendship.
Our circles are not static. They are subject to change. And they are lumpy. They’re never perfectly even with each point equidistant from the center. They’re imperfect. Yet, there is always room for everyone. Everyone has a hand to grasp. A hand to hold tightly and a wish to never let go.
And that’s good.
And that’s love
And that’s life.
Quote by Billy Joel, “Say Goodbye To Hollywood”