Life is full of reminders that none of us makes it out of this world alive. As depressing as that thought might be, it’s balanced by the love and inspiration of the people around us as we travel along our separate paths to that inevitable end. This past week I experienced two unexpected losses, both of whom inspired me in different ways.
The first sudden passing was the mother of a childhood friend. Our paths rarely crossed except for the odd carpool to swim practice or occasional sleepover, where she’d spend most of the night baking brownies to sate our voracious appetites. I never saw Mrs. Lynch after middle school, yet as so often happens in our memories of youth, she assumed an outsized role as a model of motherhood. Her obvious love for her kids and doting attentiveness to their friends was always on display. To this day, my love of traditional Irish music can be traced to her singing along with the Clancy Brothers records she’d play upstairs whenever we’d play games in the basement.