PHOTO: Chris Jones / IZOD IndyCar Series
As I contemplated the passing of Dan Wheldon this week, I found myself in various moods.
Of course, I was saddened over the loss of a great champion and the horrible facts that a wife no longer had a husband, two young boys no longer had a father, and a family no longer had a son and brother. For a time, I concentrated on what the sport could do to evolve in safety, to ensure that Wheldon’s death wouldn’t be in vain. Then, I simply worried for my friends within the INDYCAR world – from those in the series itself to those who simply watch and enjoy the sport.
But leading up to and during Wheldon’s public memorial service on Sunday at Indianapolis’ Conseco Fieldhouse, I also found myself grinning at the many, many memories that people had of him as a devoted family man, amazing driver, utter neat freak and lovable prankster.
Through these memories, an important point about life emerges. We do not have an infinite amount of time in our world and nobody knows when their number will be called. Thus, our supreme goal is to enjoy what time we have – preferably, a long time -- and to live it out as best we can, filling it with wonderful moments amongst ourselves and our loved ones.
As the massive outpouring of love and support for Wheldon and his family has shown, the man that will be forever known as “Lionheart” met that goal.
We all echo his friend Dario Franchitti’s sentiments on Sunday: We would do anything to have him back with us. But there’s a true sense of comfort knowing that as we look back on his life and legacy, we’re doing it with a smile on our faces.
At the end of the great race, if your loved ones look back upon you like that, then your life can be considered one that was well-lived.
Dan Wheldon’s life was most certainly well-lived. May we do the same with our own lives.