Today has been an intensely charged day. If you didn’t know better, you would have thought that there was a storm brewing. It wasn’t until the local headlines via Facebook arrived that our community down here realised that one of their number, had quite suddenly departed. Lafrowda is a community festival held in St Just which has grown from strength to strength over the years. I didn’t personally know Paul, the landlord of a well known hostelry in St Just, but judging by the outpouring of shock and sadness that flooded my FB timeline, he was a well loved and respected member of his community.
For some reason it kept coming into my mind today how awful this morning must have been for Paul’s widow. No husband to wake up with who was there just hours before…
When we reached St Just today to perform in the Golowan Band, it was overcast and misty – typical West Cornwall weather most would think, but not typical of Lafrowda apparently, as I found when I talked with others I met there. Then I noticed that the St Pirans flag was flying at half-mast from the church. What a touching tribute to the man – and also his pub was ‘open for business’ as he would have wanted. How poignant…
The day also seemed to be cursed by tiresome, melodramatic attention-seekers but, when put into context, was simply just irksome and annoying – not really of any importance or significance.
When finally we returned to our village I went to the village shop for supplies and found out that the proprietor was cousin to the previously mentioned widow. She related to me details of a shocking tragedy that this woman had to endure earlier in her life. How desperate she must be feeling right now, it doesn’t bear thinking about. 😦
I’m glad that the community has declared it’s respect and love for her husband so eloquently. He was obviously someone of character and stature in his town. In time, with this sort of quiet recognition, the family will heal and life will go on. For tonight, even though I didn’t know you, I salute you Paul – you lived a life that mattered.
A Life That Matters
Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived.
At the end, whether you were beautiful or brilliant, male or female, even your skin colour won’t matter.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.