A View from Blue Grotto

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Taking Stock

Yesterday I spent the day driving to and from a small town in Minnesota called, Brownsville. My daughter’s close friend had lost her father from an unexpected heart attack. We went to Brownsville to celebrate the all too short 52 years of his life.

I think the entire town showed up for the memorial service. People were asked to come early to pay their respects. On tables in the community room, next to the family who greeted us, were pieces of his life lovingly arranged. Personal items: his fishing rod and hat, his glasses, and albums full of the articles he had published in the course of owning and working as a newspaper columnist. Many people, like myself, leafed through his life’s work organized in three ring books. I stopped and took some time to read.

It’s hard to document the work people do on a daily basis, even though we spend so much our time at work. But driving home from Brownsville I found myself thinking about how I felt connected to this man’s life by seeing the volumes of work he had published over the years. So, on the drive home I decided to make some sort of archive of my own professional life. I don’t know what that will look like, but a know it’s a value of mine and one that I shared with this amazing man whose life ended far too soon.

Email me if you have experienced any extraordinary ways that families have honored the professional life of their loved ones. And remember “life is short… but it is also wide.”

Rachel Fine
Creative Director, Blue Grotto Inc.

Recommended reading: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott