Tears fill my eyes as I write this. I think back to this day ten years ago , a very similar day weather wise. The sun was shining , the air a nice winter temperature and the morning seemed like any other. But it was not. An early morning collision had taken the life of a beautiful woman , wife and mother and all that followed was to be forever altered.Loss does alter. It changes our course and determines a different future. It is however a part of who we are. For the last few days I have had two men on my mind, one of which is my Dad.In thinking of these two men I have thought of their mothers. In 1930 Blanche and Ida had baby boys within a few months of each other. These babies lived just a few miles from one another but their lives did not always intersect. They went to different one room school houses and lived in the nurturing worlds of two different families. They were both influenced by a beautiful river, strong rural values, hard farming work and a common community. They grew to be young men and married their sweethearts. They dedicated their lives to loving marriages , hard work and raising families. In later years they became good,constant friends to one another spending time around each others tables. Their wives put on good spreads taking great pride in their culinary offerings and their welcoming homes. The men enjoyed the food and the conversation. One man buried a son just a couple of years before the other buried a grandson and they both knew pain and sorrow. Both men watched with helplessness as their wive’s health deteriorated. Both men buried their beloved wives and struggled to find a way to carry on without them. Both men faced health challenges of their own and watched as their decline crept up on them. Both men had daughters who have often shared their feelings as they watch their strong fathers falter. This morning I feel that connection , that shared history and a thankfulness for the gift of Blanche and Ida’s baby boys .In thinking of those two men one of which passed away on Thursday I am reminded deeply of the circle of life. Mothers, babies, sons, daughters , parenting , grand parenting, living the lives we have been given to live. Loving and letting go. Past, present and future all a powerful tangle, a road to navigate and find our way along.