make every day count

Just a few days ago, a man was killed while out riding his bike. It was a beautiful lazy Sunday afternoon in a quiet suburb not too far from the park. He was in good shape, happily married, father to three almost-grown sons. An 18-year-old boy made a foolish choice to drive under drug influence, and in a moment, a good man was gone.

Life is just a breath.

I am shaken by this man’s early home-going… I’m sure he was planning on many more years of work and play. He was taking care of himself. I’m sure his wife did not imagine living the rest of her life alone without him. Such unexpected, painful change! I pray for her, hoping that she has no regrets of their last days, weeks, years together.

And I realize that is it worth repeating… live every day as if it is the last! Don’t put off until tomorrow the good things I can do today, because I may never have tomorrow. Seize the day! Live well. Make every day count!

Say “I love you”. Forgive. Listen well. Rest. Play. Call the family.
Start to exercise. Pray. Smell the flowers. Read. Give a hug. Dance. Sing.
Enjoy a gooey dessert. Say “thank you”.  Cry with a friend.
Light a candle. Help someone. Rock a baby. Laugh out loud.

Have no regrets.

I need to hear this reminder every day.

How about you? How do you make every day count?

life and death

Nothing like death to make me think about life. It is so easy to run from one thing to another without reflection… until running is no longer an option… until there are no options at all… until life is done and there is suddenly all kinds of quiet, emptiness, solitude, and time to think. Too much time. Not enough time.

My husband’s mom passed away last week. We had just spent a wonderful week as a family with her and all his relatives – something we don’t get to do but every five to ten years. His mom looked good; she was apparently winning the ugly cancer fight; we enjoyed precious time together… and then two days later she was gone. An unexpected aneurysm leak took her life in just a few hours.

“Nanny” was a sweet lady – I felt very loved by her. I am struggling with how life, vacation gatherings, and family communication will change without her. She had a warm, inviting, accepting character that attracted people instantly and bonded them to her life-long. (please see my husband’s tribute to her) She entered eternity with a grace, calm and peace that I hope to have…

I am so grateful for the relationship we had with “Nanny”. Although we lived at great geographical distance all of our married life, we worked hard to stay close. Phone calls, cards and letters (past), Facebook (present), and vacation get-togethers allowed my children to really know and love Nanny. Sometimes it required extra expense or a very long drive, but it was so worth the effort. I do not regret investing during her lifetime, and we have no regrets at her death.

I wonder if I can say that about all of my relationships? Am I investing today, so that if they were gone tomorrow I would have no regrets? Have I made the effort? Have I told them I love them? Have I reconciled our conflicts? Have I given them my time, my energy, my focused attention? Is there anything still undone… anything that I need to say?

Life is so fragile and uncertain. Death comes without warning. I don’t want death to catch me unprepared. I want to be ready.

Are you ready? If death visits you or a loved one tomorrow… what do you need to do today?