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We live and we die, but is that just it? Tragedy brings an answer.


My uncle Leroy is passing on, a product of congestive heart failure, which is wrenching at his life. He was like a father to me because I lost my father six months after my birth. On the cusp of the inevitable change coming to his spirit, I asked myself last night, “we live and then we die, but what does living really mean?

My thoughts this morning, we live and we die, but we live on in the people that we’ve touched and helped. I recall times when I was just a boy and I would call Leroy to get advice on “manly” things, like repairing a car or obtaining my license, what to do and how to handle certain events in my life. “Boxers or briefs”, razor or electric, and girls, compelling questions to a 15 year old boy.

I did not call often, but I knew if I did, he would have given me the advice that he gave his four sons and two daughters and it would have been great advice.

The truth is that we live and we die, but we live on in the heart and the soul of the people that we touched. To him, I dedicate this moment, because as he leaves this world, he touched me, his wife of 45 years, his sons and daughters, and the many grandchildren. His purpose arises within all these people, and it is because he was who he is and who he will be, in life and in spirit.

I need to remember my purpose in life, to touch and help people like Leroy did in so many ways.

Jim Ballidis

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