Monday, August 15, 2011

The Fragility of Life

Thursday evening, I was late for raid.  I had to go to a school open house and athletics meeting, so I picked up pizza on the way home and made it back about a half hour into raid.  But when I got home, I was met by a surprise.

The evening had turned out very rainy--flash flood proportions--and the elderly gentleman who lived in the mountains behind the facility was at our house.  He had known he would be unable to make it past the creek while the flood continued, even in his all-wheel-drive vehicle, so my husband invited him to wait out the storm watching a movie in our living room.

Knowing that hostess duties trumped raid, I texted my GM the situation and got things ready for us to all sit down to pizza, followed by the chocolate cake my 15-yr-old had made while I had been gone.  We had a great time, with our neighbor talking about his small winery and ranch, and the kids discussing their school classes and activities.

When the dishes were done, the younger kids in bed, and the others settled down to continue their movie in the living room, I thought about logging on.  When I noticed the elderly gentleman had fallen asleep on the couch, I conferred with my husband and headed back to my computer room to join in the wipes on Ragnaros.

Late that evening, our neighbor did make it home, but not before he managed to get stuck in the creek, despite the lessened rain.  He hobbled out of his car about a quarter mile to where he could get cell signal and called my husband, who came in his 4-wheel-drive Jeep and took him home.

This morning, we heard our neighbor was killed last night in a car accident.  He had been going too fast on the rural highway, which is tempting to do, and he had not successfully navigated a curve.  Without his seatbelt, he was thrown from the car and, mercifully, died instantly.

It was a great shock to our family.  He was one of the few people who had truly befriended my husband, even taking him with him on his annual fishing trip to Canada at the beginning of July.  He was an influential man in the area, as all ranchers are influential.  And he had offered a job to my daughter, if she wanted it, helping to package orders for delivery.

But the thing which dominated my mind when I heard the news was that pizza and cake last Thursday.  How glad I was we had been able to be of service to him!  How thankful I was that I had not, in my heart, begrudged him that time, which took me away from the raid.

We always say Real Life > WoW.  We should probably also remember that Real Life is much more fragile than WoW.  The game will be there if we walk away for a day or a month, stored electronically and backed up on other machines, but opportunities to be kind, to be gracious, or to help others in Real Life may be taken away from us at any moment.

Rest in peace, Leonard.  We'll miss you.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry for your loss :( I'm glad you had the opportunity to be a good host and neighbor to him when he needed it!