Saturday, July 5, 2014

Life is short, another reminder

I learned yesterday that while the rest of us were celebrating the nation's birthday, a friend of ours was beginning the long journey of grief over losing his father. To compound the loss, it was at the hands of a criminal, who broke into his home and shot him with his own gun. While his wife was upstairs.

I'm confident there will be much speculation, commentary and debate on gun control, security, religion, and being "right with God". What I'd like to point out is that he was "Right with People". I went to his Facebook page and found this heartwarming, heartbreaking and encouraging interaction between he and a friend:

"Calvin" had posted "Having an ole fashion singing service tomorrow PM at (redacted), hope you guys will join us. I am back in town...and we can talk about Israel at the same time and go eat afterwards.. "

The interchange that followed was filled with kind words, affirmations of the desire to see each other, spend time together and recounting of family plans.

I found myself at first saddened that they (apparently) were not able to connect before Don's tragic death.  Then I found myself so warmed by the fact that they openly acknowledged each other, shared their desire to see each other and spend time together.  It reminded me that life is short... once again.

When we lost our son in 2006, I clung to the fact that I had enjoyed every moment with him.  We lived his 3 month life to to fullest.  I had no regrets about how we spent our time and whether or not he knew he was loved.  I coined a phrase that became a mantra for several years:  Love with Abandon, Live without Regret.

Love with Abandon Live without Regret
Love with Abandon Live without Regret by noelgiger
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It is a tragic and terrible thing to lose someone you love.  If you've experienced this, you know first-hand how the "what-ifs" and "if-onlys" can wage endless war on your mind.  There is nothing we can do to rectify situations after one of us is dead.  

Take this tragedy and use it for good in your life - pick up the phone, send a letter, forgive, connect, love... Don did.

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