When someone dies, we often make a lot of promises that don't hold up as time goes by. You lose a loved one to skin cancer and you promise to never go to a tanning bed again...until you do. You lose someone to a car accident and you swear to never drive without a seatbelt on...until you do. I think we have all made promises in the heat of the moment, but when the grief passes, we go on with our lives and forget the things we said we would never do again. Why is that? Why does it take a death to remind us of how precious life truly is?
In some cases, we are lucky enough to lose loved ones that have lived a full life. My dear, Great Aunt Odie is one of those people. She lived to be 98 years old. And look...even at 97, she was still getting all dressed up every day (and picking out matching accessories :-)...
I am so thankful that I got to know Aunt Odie so well throughout my life, and I am even more thankful that Aunt Odie got to know Addie...and talk to Blake in my belly :-)
Not long after I had Blake, my Aunt Odie became very ill. She has been living in a nursing home ever since and while it breaks my heart to say that she passed away yesterday...I know she is in a better place. A place where she is no longer in pain, where she can wear her fancy hats, pretty dresses and sparkly shoes every day, where she can be reunited with my Great Uncle Bill (who she asked for many times in her last few days on earth), and best of all...a place where she can finally be with Jesus. This is a death I can understand. This is a death I feel at peace about. Aunt Odie lived a full, happy life and now she is in heaven. If only we could say that about every person we lose in a lifetime. If only I could say that about my friend Dave.
In addition to my Aunt Odie's passing, I found out on Friday that a good friend of mine from high school was killed in a car accident on his way to work. It happened suddenly and he was gone before paramedics even arrived. Words can't express how shocked I was when I heard the news. The minute my mom said his name, my mind went back to high school. I could picture the two of us sitting together on the bus talking about how much we liked the band Soundgarden. He had a Miami Dolphins sweatshirt that he wore all the time and whenever I see that team logo...I think of him. He was one of my first boyfriends and I remember him holding my hand getting off the bus every day...not because he was trying to make a move...but because he didn't want me to trip walking down the stairs. That's just the kind of guy he was.
It still just breaks my heart tonight as I think of him. Dave was only 30-years-old. That, to me, is not a full life. He is leaving behind a beautiful wife, a two-year-old daughter and a baby on the way. I just can't imagine the pain and sadness his wife feels right now. There aren't words to describe it I'm sure. I find myself wanting to ask God why. Why did he take Dave so early? Why was it his time? The rational side of me knows not to ask these questions. God has a plan. God is good. I am suppose to have faith in that. And I do. But I still can't help but wonder why. I suppose that is natural...but it doesn't make my heart break any less.
Tonight...as Eric and I were sitting down talking about the logistics of the week to come, I had a scary thought...it could have been my husband in that accident. Instead of coordinating our schedules together, I could be sitting here alone, planning a funeral. I know this sounds morbid...but it was a wake-up call. Earlier in the evening, I got frustrated with Eric for something silly. I was upset, I left the room, and then gave him the silent treatment for about an hour (I know...very mature :-) But as we sat talking about the wakes and funerals we needed to attend this week I thought my gosh...I am such a jerk! I need to be cherishing every moment I have with Eric, and my kids, and friends and family because you just never know what tomorrow will bring.
This is of course the part where I start making promises, but I know that I can't promise to never get upset with Eric, or frustrated with the kids, or disagree with my mom, etc. because that is just part of life. BUT...I can promise to try to be more patient. I can promise to be more positive. I can promise to try to be less anxious and worrisome. I can promise to be more understanding. I can promise to say I love you more. I can promise to give more hugs and kisses. I can promise to never take my life, or all of my blessings for granted.
So tonight...I hope all of you can make some new promises of your own because life is too short. And if you can, please keep my family, as well as my friend Dave's family in your thoughts and prayers this week. Pray that everyone finds peace and comfort through this difficult time. Thanks friends. Until tomorrow...