Today I had the honor of playing at the funeral of a great man. I never met him. Wasn't aware of his accomplishments. Didn't know any of his stories. Not until his service and wake did I know anything about him at all. But by the end of the day, I was glad to have been part of this man's tribute and also thankful for the reminders his memorial service provided.
Part of what Tom Brokaw deems "The Greatest Generation", this man had overcome living through The Great Depression. He served heroically with an elite force in World War II. He found answers to the questions of uncertainty we all face in our own lives. He went on to make contributions to the world of science. He raised a family that reflected on his life with great love.
So how does this, which sounds so foreign to my personal life experience, serve as a reminder of anything to me? Well, besides the models of grit, hard-work, perseverance and love the man's life-stories provide, those that spoke in honor of him today remind me to wonder what people will be saying at my own funeral, and if I'm going to like it. Today's service reminded me to ask myself if my current life path is aligned with the eulogy I hope to someday receive. It reminded me to ask myself whether I have my priorities straight and if I'm using whatever time I have here in the best way.
Maybe I'm just in a self-reflective mood since our holidays and vacations are over, both daughters are back at college, and my sabbatical from teaching school ends Monday morning. Even so, today was one of those "gigs" where I was hired to provide something, but left having received instead.
Sometimes the best part about making music is the non-musical stuff.