I started this post yesterday morning, but I was too in shock to finish it until today.
Yesterday I had a meeting with a coworker and friend to work on a welcome letter for new mothers returning to work, inviting them to use our lactation services and private rooms. We talked for about an hour, then I went home to let Dexter out and start dinner. Last night, she and her husband were in a horrific car crash and her husband died. She was seriously injured but is back at home now.
The title of this post, a reference from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, isn’t meant to be trite, it’s meant absolutely literally (even if the grammar is bad). It’s taken from a movie I watched over and over again as a kid and could recite verbatim in its entirety, and it couldn’t be more true with each passing day.
We take so much for granted. We text in the car or flip to the next podcast. We forget to call someone back thinking that there’s always tomorrow. We waste time watching TV or flipping through Facebook, but the truth is, every single minute of our lives is a gift. There’s no guarantee that there will be a tomorrow. All we have is the moment we’re in, and how we choose to live it is up to us.
We sat in her office together while she ate her lunch, talking about her work with the passion that she always does. She ate a salad for lunch with cucumbers, a peach, and an avocado; she dug the seeds out with her fingernail, chopped it all up right on her desk, and wiped her hands on her skirt. It was a normal day. She hugged me goodbye, and I left. That was it, no big deal. Nothing new.
Except that everything changed on a dime a few short hours later.
I didn’t know her husband, but all day yesterday, I could feel my brain rejecting the truth of his death. Almost as if I was in denial for her. Hoping that the news report was wrong, that really he was in the ER and had a chance. He wasn’t and doesn’t. He was 47 years old, and they have three children.
I’m sorry to write such a sad impromptu post, but as we are all about to enter into a long holiday weekend – a weekend intended for fun, but when accidents often happen – I wanted to take the time to remind you how precious and fragile our lives are.
I’m headed to Yosemite, and while I’m always careful, I plan to be extra diligent about safety on the rock this weekend. Please don’t jump into water unless you know how deep it is. Please don’t drink and drive. Please don’t set off fireworks in unsafe areas or start a fire in a risky spot in the forest. Please don’t leave your kids unattended by a pool. Please let your passenger navigate, and keep your hands off your phone while you’re driving.
And enjoy what you have. Appreciate those you love. Call an old friend, your sister, your mother, and really be present in the conversation. Take the time.
My intention isn’t to be scary or dismal. It’s to encourage you to LIVE, and to remind myself that every single person and thing in my life is a blessing to be cherished.
Thanks for reading, and please be safe this weekend.