Yesterday, there was the worst Metro accident in DC history… (My heart and prayer goes out to the loved ones of the deceased and the injured)
Everyone naturally said “This is a reminder for us to appreciate the people we love.”
Why is it that only tragedy gives us the reminder to appreciate the people we are blessed to have in our lives? Shouldn’t we do that everyday?
I do my damn best to do it everyday. So I seem crazy mushy or super needy or clingy or I’ve been called fake…because I show people I appreciate them. As often as I can. Even if it’s just a little ‘Hello’ or ‘Smile’…
(The rest of this blog, I wrote in April, 2008…It felt fitting to post it here today)
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You’re free at last.
written en route to the funeral for his friend, Ronnie Van Zant of the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.
I was hit by death early on in my life…In fact, before I was even born. My grandfather died three years prior to my birth…before meeting any of his grandchildren. I grew up, only knowing him through those black & white pictures and stories that my mom and aunts told of him. I felt deprived that he wasn’t physically in my life but his words were a cornerstone of the foundation of who I am today.
Growing up, I had a great uncle who was like a grandfather to me…he filled that void as best as he could. His real grandson was one of my cousins who loved pulling my hair…and because he always had a shaved head, I couldn’t get revenge for the pain that my pretty little head endured. Though we grew up in different cities, we were close. I still remember his giggle like it was yesterday. His life was cut short when he was killed in a freak accident on the first day of school. He was either 6 or 7…I was 5 or 6. He died instantly and our grandfather had to wait by his body until the ambulances could get there. Our grandfather died of a heart attack just a few months later. I was 6 and I knew of death. I had lost two of the most precious people in my life and I kept a picture of my cousin close to me all my life. His mother gave birth to a son a year or two later…he was named after his big brother he could never meet. How I wish that his mother could have one more day to hold her first born in her arms…
What would you do with one more day with a lost loved one?
I’ve been thinking about this since I read For One More Day by Mitch Albom.
I began thinking about the people I’ve lost…Who would I want one more day with? What would I say? I’ve lost two great aunts in the last year and half…the most recent one being the widow of my “grandfather” who died shortly after his grandson’s death. Long years passed and I guess heartbreak can only be held off for so long…
Then I began people who used to be in my life…who are still alive but in my past. Would I want a day with any of them? No…they are in my past for a reason and if I really wanted…I could track them down. There are no lost words between me and anyone who is in my past. This is why I am so adamant and passionate about those in my now…I don’t want you guys to ever doubt who I am & the place you hold in my life. Hindsight is 20/20 but I’m working on bettering my vision so that I don’t have to look back.
I only have one thing to say to anyone who is in my past who may have gotten there on a “bad” note. I forgive you. I forgive you for any pain you may have caused me…and I apologize for any I’ve caused you…knowingly or unknowingly. I try to be very careful with my words, even in fights because I don’t believe in hurting on purpose…no matter how upset we may be. So I’m sorry if I caused you any pain…and I forgive you for the hurt you caused me.
When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free. ~~Catherine Ponder
So back to the question…who would be that one person for me? The answer has always been clear…my grandfather. I would hold him in my arms, knowing that in 24 hours, I’d have to let go again. I would just sit there and listen to him. We would go to the park so that he could push me on the swings. We’d walk hand in hand, just taking in the moment. I would look at him…taking in the meaningfulness of his eyes, how genuinely he smiles, his laugh…every line on his face…So that I would never forget. What would I say to him?
“I love you. I hope I’ve made you proud.”
Why is it that we only realize the value of our lives…and those around us after it’s too late? Remember…death is certain. Make sure that you make every moment of every day count.
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in, we’ll become too soft. But a wise man Levine said it right. He said ‘Love is the only rational act.'” ~ Morrie Shwartz, Tuesdays with Morrie