A lesson in life, learned through death

When someone we know leaves this earthly existence and makes that heavenly journey to the afterlife, we tend to reflect on our past and present… evaluate and scrutinize every little thing… Our successes, our failures, our entire lives…  all of the “shoulda, woulda, coulda”. We contemplate what everything is, and the meaning of life. At least, I know I do.

I read a Facebook post Thursday morning that made me suck in my breath and cry. Not just cry, but truly saddened me to my core. To be completely honest, it has been at the forefront of my thoughts ever since… so many emotions… sadness, anger, guilt…  All those emotions for a life lost, for the struggle, for the long fight. And I feel so incredibly bad… so guilty. I should’ve been a much better friend. I should’ve halted my busy life and acted when the impression presented itself to me.

There are valuable lessons to be learned here, aren’t there?  Listen to that inner voice. Cherish life, cherish love, cherish your friendships! In this ever busy world, isn’t it worth it to spend a little time cultivating those relationships with our friends. Some of these friendships have lasted for decades. Some were suspended and frozen in time… graduation happened, and decades went by. A class reunion reunites us and it’s as if no time has passed at all. Sometimes, reuniting with our friends happens through the miracle of cyber space. I am so thankful for it. (I am a horrible letter writer. Go figure!) The memories are sweet, the memories are painful, the memories are precious…. yet we take them all for granted. It isn’t until our friends are gone that we realize how dear all those memorable experiences truly were. All of the regrets set in. “I should’ve took that five minutes and sent an email/text.” “I could’ve, but I ended up getting sidetracked by —.”  “I would’ve, had I known about —.”   So many excuses…

CAN WE PLEASE STOP WITH ALL THE EXCUSES?!

You see, I had this friend in high school. We were in quite a few classes together. I remember the band trips, the marching band, pep band games and how much fun we had. I remember sitting next to her in other classes and laughing about things.  I remember getting stern “talkings to” from several teachers for doing things that shouldn’t have been done. Haha! After we graduated, we lost touch, as so many of us did. We reconnected quite a few years ago thanks to the beauty of Facebook, and my life has been better for it. Ann loved life, loved her family, enjoyed her job, and had a wonderful sense of humor. I looked up to her back in high school, and admired her positive attitude. I was shocked by the news of her ALS diagnosis. We chatted on occasion, and I kept up on how she was doing. Ann was so strong, so transparent, so open about her illness. She was positive, and held onto her sense of humor through it all. I had every intention of going to visit her. Then my anxiety would kick in…. I didn’t want to invade her home. I didn’t know where she lived. I didn’t want to intrude on her family. So many lame excuses… I am seriously the worst friend. Ever. And now… well, she has passed on.

Come on friends, life is too short to push people, or things aside. We all know this. Let’s try putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes and envision their needs. Let’s try making a genuine effort. You just don’t know how much you will impact someone else’s life with those “little things” and kind words. Imagine the difference you can make. Remember the difference someone made for you.

Make a difference. Be the difference.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

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No longer in pain… No longer broken. May you rest in peace, Ann. I hope to see you again someday. 💕

 

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