mag:yellow petunia2Hi, I know I said I’d have the next installment of The Nubian Chronicles but has anyone noticed how many well-known people died today? Not a good day on the old planet for some. But then, who am I to say?

First I was saddened to hear that Annette Funicello of Musketeer fame passed away after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Next I discovered that the “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher had left us. What an amazing woman. Heck, we just lost Roger Ebert on April 4. Wasn’t that enough?

Next I read that Les Blank (documentary film maker) died today. Next was Sara Montiel (first Spanish actress to achieve Hollywood fame). I thought there was a fifth soul but for the life of me, I can’t recall who it was.

Events like this truly make one stop and realize how short life is and where you are on the journey since there don’t seem to be any “do overs”. For Annette and Margaret, it may have been a blessing since they were suffering (I read that Mrs. Thatcher had suffered two strokes in 2002 and apparently had dementia since 2005).

Just this weekend I was marveling at Queen Elizabeth and her long life. She’ll turn 88 on April 21. Just think of all the history she’s seen, all the people she’s met. I found myself wondering if she has any idea of how truly remarkable the path she walked (walks) is. It makes me wonder if the souls we lost today and Mr. Ebert knew what their voyage through this world really meant, or was, and the impact they made upon us. Or did they perhaps, just live each day, as it dawned, much as we all do, simply day by day?

It gives one pause.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make your dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a (Wo*)Man, my son!
by Rudyard Kipling  (1865 – 1936)

* Editor’s addition.