I recently returned home to attend the funeral of my best friend’s brother. He had fought a hard battle with cancer for the past 2 and a half years, and although valiant he lost his battle on 27 March 2016. All in all, I reflected on the implications that death has on our psyche and the lens that it adds to our ever-evolving perspective on life. I believe there are two distinct types of deaths: those that follow a natural timeline and those that don’t. An example of the former are grandparents, those that have lived a full life and it becomes time to move onto the next life. The latter was this case, where we all felt that a full-life had not been lived, we had been deprived of an awesome individual who had started a successful career and possessed so much potential. It is in these types of deaths that while we reflect on their life, we also reflect on our own. I am reminded to have a greater appreciation for those around me, for the things that I am able to do and to cherish relationships with my family and friends. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” has been a popular phrase that I often repeat to myself. Those small things that seem like a big deal fade away in the big picture of life enjoyment. I continue to cherish the relationships I have, both old and new and constantly think of ways that I can build those relationships. As an avid gamer in the past, I chose to put that hobby behind me to pursue more productive hobbies that have greater social implications. Hiking, instruments, photo and video production continue to be emerging hobbies for me as I push into my 30s.
I was able to spend some time at the house where I grew up and where my folks still currently live. I haven’t been home for 5 years and from hearing the stories and walking around the neighborhood I was able to relish a bit of my childhood. I grew up on Edgewood avenue and was a latchkey kid growing up, babysat by a family friend occasionally on Elf Road. Someone put an elf on Elf Road! Love it.
I hopped into my folk’s Beamer and took it for a “test drive” around. I think I’m definitely picking one up when I get back to Hawaii in May. Totally sold on the Ultimate Driving machine once again. It’s been a while since I had the 330ci at Fort Leonard Wood.
South Mountain Arena on Northfield Ave has a changed quite a bit. From being just a NJ Devils practice rink and go-to graduation spot for those that attended West Orange Mountain High School it now sports a 2 mile track around a pond, a zoo (again, Turtle Back was closed for a long time due to renovations), and a zip-line in the woods nearby. There was also an education center but since it was closed I wasn’t able to check it out. The McDonald’s hasn’t changed at all and it was a staple in my childhood since my grandparents would always take me there.
St. Cloud school, a K-5 grade school it was a place of great memories growing up. From playing O-U-T, 4-square, arguing with my folks over the “celebration of Halloween” and simply a place I ran away from home once to (don’t ask) there is so much nostalgia here. I also first fell in love with chicken patties here and the practice of mixing ketchup with mayo. It was at this gymnasium I learned how to play bean-bag spin and dodgeball.
Lastly, I was able to walk around with my folks and Casper. Casper’s getting older but he’s still pretty spunky. I think the transition is complete between the folks and me – they’re definitely his owners now after all these years. He’ll play and jump on me but at the end of the day, he sleeps in their bed. Oh well, that’s life right?