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President's Ponderings: Friendship and Life's Journey

By Edward Luttrell - President's Ponderings Blog (5/18/11)

  MAY 19, 2011 --

I am in New England to say goodbye to Tom Severance, a fellow National Grange officer and friend. Tom passed away on Sunday and his funeral is tomorrow (May 19). 

It seems every time I lose a friend or family member it is a moment to reflect on the journey we each are on. No matter what we accomplish or who we know, life ends for all at some point. To me there are two essential truths in life to consider. First, what comes next and second, who we touch during our life.

First, I do believe that what comes after this life is critical. I do have faith and believe that our journey doesn’t end in the grave. The spiritual choices we make in this life will affect us in the next life as death is but the doorway. The opportunity to be around people who believe similarly is important to each person. In the Grange, the way we as individuals choose to worship is our choice, but we acknowledge that there is a supreme being as a part of our basic principles.

The people we touch throughout our lives are what our lives are made up of. Bold or quiet, soft or a bit harsh, happy or sad, each person adds something to everyone they touch during life. Friendship is one of the true treasures of life and I have learned that friendship freely given is a powerful thing. Regardless of how often you see someone, the fact that you look forward to seeing them and miss them when they are absent is a sign of true friendship.

My Grange friends are a large part of my life. I’ve been blessed with friends like Tom, people who often live in places I might never have gone without the Grange. People who I never would have met and with whom I have discovered shared interests have become friends due to the fraternal bonds of the Grange. 

My life is richer because of my friends, the friends I’ve had who have crossed over into the next life, the friends I have around me today, and the promise of friends to be made in the future. With each step down life’s pathway we need to remind ourselves to treasure all who walk with us, whether for a short while or for many long years, as our journey’s value is measured not in recognition or material goods, but in the friends we make along the way.

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