It was one of those weekends … busy running around, burying our heads in the tasks as hand, making sure that the house was clean and impeccable, because, at the time, that mattered. We weren't out living life to its fullest, we weren't thinking about calling anyone to say, "I love you and am thinking about you." We weren't sending note cards off to friends to surprise them with some mailbox cheer. We weren't helping the homeless, curing diabetes or moving mountains were our errands. Matter of fact, we were bickering about the guy in the shopping center parking lot who didn't slow down enough while driving over the speed bumps. His hands went up in the air, our hands were up in the air and expletives ensued. We weren't thinking about anyone other than ourselves and we weren't thinking that maybe someone we loved was currently hurting.
It was one of those moments, when the phone rings and you look at it, but don't answer it. We were in the middle of watching a birth class DVD, thinking about the life we were about to have. We weren't thinking that maybe one just ended. It was one of those moments when the second call comes in right away and you look at each other knowingly that something isn't right. It's the voice mail from the brother you've known all your life, and he announces his name like a complete stranger.
The bit of conversation you can hear from the background and can't help but hope that your are wrong in assuming what comes next. "Are you sure he isn't just hurt? Come on, not him."
Yesterday afternoon, the hubs and I got word that our cousin-in-law (can that be a word right now?) had tragically passed in a motorcycle accident, along with his brother. He was 39 years old and leaves behind an amazing young son and a beautiful wife.
Whenever tragedy strikes, it makes some of us realize we aren't living life to its fullest, that we are sweating the small stuff … and it's times of tragedy that can change our minds and our attitudes to one of compassion and gratitude. But, for me, it always seems temporary; it only lasts until the emotions dwindle away and life resumes some normalcy.
It still seems unreal. His Facebook is flooded with notes of condolence, notes of remembrance, notes of love and all of those things most wait until it is too late to say … It wouldn't change anything or bring anyone back. Just like we can't change yesterday, but we can make a conscious decision to do something today that is different from yesterday. Holding the door open, picking up the phone, forgive a little bit more, love a little louder, have more gratitude, be more patient … make today different than it was yesterday.
For me, yesterday and the previous days were all about getting ready for Flobee, nesting and cleaning the house. My to-do list was all about cleaning and organizing, not savoring each moment and my last few moments of mother-less-hood. What is going to be different today? I am filling up the next two weekend's to-do list with catching up with friends, enjoying the moments and not sweating the small stuff. If the floor isn't cleaned today, it will still be dirty tomorrow. And that is ok. If dinner isn't made, we won't go hungry, we will go to the drive through!
On a Monday morning, when it is time to wake up and groan, "Ugh, Monday … again." Don't think of today as another dreadful Monday; waking up today is a gift. A gift that someone who loved life doesn't get to experience.
As Gerald states on his Facebook "About" page, "Life is short so you better take advantage of it while you can." And if you didn't believe me that this guy takes advantage of it … I think that this photo sums up both G and his life (this photo also cracks me up whenever I look at it):