Recently, I heard some tragic news about one of my brother’s childhood friends that has sadly left this world too soon. It was truly heart wrenching thinking about someone I used to see regularly with my younger brother while I grew up. As a young person, especially as a kid, death is hopefully an infrequent visitor, limited to those that you innately accept are called at a certain mark in their lives. But, to think of someone around your age departing so soon is unfathomable until it happens.
Now that I’m a parent, and I hear about the death of a son or daughter in the midst of their youth, it has a very different affect on me. The pain is much different because for a moment I can agonize with what those parents are going through. I momentarily think of my daughter, and say to myself “what if.” Though I will never fully feel the suffering a parent experiences at the loss of a child, I now understand what it is to empathize with them as parents, and my heart truly aches for them.
Moments like this jolt you back into reality. You forget about the trivial things in your life that are causing you angst like what presents you have left to buy, what errands you need to run, or why you are so frustrated with a house in disarray and a toddler incapable of being satisfied at the moment. All you want to do is to hold your child tight and pray and hope for her future.
Tragedy seems to bring that out in everyone: the realization of what really matters. That is something I wish to impart to all of you reading this, most especially as the holidays approach. Take everyday to relish in the life you are building with your family, your spouse, your children. Hold your love ones tight every moment you get, even when you are at the height of frustration. Nothing in this world is promised. And at some point you have to let your little ones venture into this great big world alone and with the tools you have provided. I know I never want to look back and think I wasted time or missed an opportunity to cherish all the moments, even the difficult ones.
This tragedy has reminded me to do just that, but I’m also striving to keep remembering outside of a tragedy. The future is always uncertain, but what is certain is that you can live your life striving to appreciate what time you have with your loved ones. We have nothing but time, until it’s gone. Treasure it.
God Bless and Merry Christmas.