Tuesday, August 9, 2016

From dust we come...

I don't know everything about everything, which is why I'm not about to run for office (or run anywhere) but as everyone goes on and on about this poor young man who lost his life on a giant waterslide in Kansas over the weekend, maybe we should try to remember that a young man lost his life, his neck broken on a giant waterslide.

They call it the Schlitterbahn Water Park. (Schlitterbahn means "slippery road" in German.) No one knows as of this minute what happened to 10-year-old Caleb Thomas Schwab, the son of Kansas State lawmaker Scott Schwab and his wife Michele, while he was on the ride.  

"The ride" is the Verrückt ride. (Verrückt means "insane" in German).  At 168' 7", it's the world's tallest water slide, taller than the Statue of Liberty from toe to torch. Three people get on a raft and slide to the bottom at speeds around 65 miles per hour.

Of course, there will be questions, and finger pointing, and wondering whether it's reasonable to assume such risks, and why a 10-year old was on the ride that was supposed to be limited to those 14 and up.

Lawyers will file briefs, the funeral will be covered, the way we've seen before and, no doubt, will again.

What caught my attention is what the little guy's family said.  

"Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those he came in contact with," said the family statement.

Can we hope for anything better than that, no matter what our age when we depart for the Great Beyond, than to have people remember us as having brought "abundant joy" to everyone?

Amusement parks, water slides, games and trips and hot dogs and ice cream and holidays in the sun all precede what awaits every single living being: the sad finale.  As Hank Williams said, "I'll never get out of this world alive."  I take this family's eulogy as a reminder to bring joy whenever and wherever possible.   

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