My husband and I are going to spend four days this coming weekend in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, first driving with our daughter to a memorial at least eight hours away. The memorial is for her best friend’s father who suddenly died of a heart attack. Our daughter and her friend have known each other since kindergarten and the girls were back and forth over the years between our house and hers. Even though both girls attended different colleges in different states, married, had children and pursued their careers, they never lost contact. It was a friendship never taken for granted.
There are so many cliches about treasuring the life we have, embracing those we care about, telling them often we love them and yes, also “Stop and smell the roses.” Then, a life ends. Suddenly, or perhaps as a lingering one. It is then I am jarred awake and repeat the same promise to myself that I will never, ever take life for granted again. As another cliche says, “I will live each day as if it is my last.” But, I forget.
I’ve thought about it a lot. Maybe those who truly understand how short and precious life is are those who have experienced a loss—a child, a spouse, a dear friend. So, right now, I remind myself each morning to raise the shade when I arise and view the snowy crevices of the mountains just beyond, the activity on the acreages below as animals are fed, cats hunt near our yard and an elderly man walks a snow-trodden path back and forth from the barn to his house. Watching it all from my window, I am grateful. Grateful there are moments in time that I am aware…to be grateful.