Oct 14, 2005

Life is a game that seldom gives warning that the GAME OVER sign will light up

Many times I've heard the "Carpe Diem" motto. How can you utilize this in your hum-drum-work-home-and-then-you-die routine? What does "sieze the day", "let nothing go wasted", "live to the fullest" exactly m-e-a-n? I live a layperson's life. Married with two children. Bills. Payments. Dues. 9 to 5 Work. A little blue-collar entertainment: cinema, books, perhaps a theater or concert once in a while, sparingly dinner out. My greatest joy and aspiration is helping my girls become decent kids, to respect themselves and others, to love and laugh their way through life -no matter what comes-, to become strong, confident adults. I sometimes ponder about how I'm not living up to my fullest potential - whatever that may be - and I don't know how to pursue it. And then sh*t happens that makes you appreciate even the tiniest effort you make in this weird game called "living". And let's face it, this game seldom gives warning when the sign GAME OVER will light up.

My husband lost his best friend, Yiannis, this week in a freak accident. They were colleagues for 20 years and good friends since they met. Yiannis had always been an outdoorsy, active guy (mountain climbing, scuba-diving, gym workouts etc.). This physically active life-style was not one of the things they had in common with my husband. They were great conversationalists and confidants. Yiannis recently retired with a substantial pension. His only child had finished college and was settling into a good job. His wife and he separated after 20-some-odd years of marriage.

I had the impression that life was putting him through a "spring-cleaning" process. He had even said that "he felt he was finally living". We were happy that HE was happy. 52 years old and a brand new life was just starting for him... And then he went on one of his "routine" mountain-climbing excursions with friends. He fell 700 meters.

I can't believe that a man so alive and virile is gone. "Yiannis is no more...", mumbled my husband, upon being informed the outcome of the rescuers' search. The words although soft-spoken, fell hard as steel, as if a large, heavy gate had just been slammed shut in our faces.

Kalo taksidi, Yianni. Farewell friend.