Fourth of July driving home from an afternoon of sunshine, food, and family, we witnessed a horrific car accident. Approximately twenty minutes earlier the car went into the underneath of a tractor trailer truck, and with it, the man lost him life. The report online shows he was only 33 years old. At the end of the police report the final words were, “Next of kin notified”.
I’ve since thought of this man. I’ve thought of his family. Imagined receiving that phone call. Your son / husband / father has left this world and will not be coming home. I’ve thought of how he lived his life – and the void that must be present in the lives of those who loved him. Those who knew him. Those who lived his life with him.
With it, I’ve thought of my own life. Those who know me, those who I love, those who I share my life with. The empty void I would feel if I ever received a call such as that. Heartbreak, devastation can’t begin to describe that pain.
You try to put those thoughts out of your mind, but the truth of the matter is life is vulnerable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told my son and daughter that it will have to wait until tomorrow when they have asked me to sit down and play a game with them. Or in my relationship, when I’ve asked Derek or he has asked me, to find quality one on one time, and instead we put it off and replace our time together with checking off the mounting to do list. Or when my best friend calls and asks when we can get together, and then we reschedule our dinner catch up about nine times over the course of six months.
I’ve thought of my painful regrets, and worse, I’ve come to understand that as much as I want to tell you seeing that man’s life at its end will force me to change, it won’t. But I will tell you that as I sat at dinner tonight, the first night Bella has been at home in over eight days, the first night Thomas in five, I felt that instant relief that they were here … safe … laughing … and dinner never tasted better than having each one of their faces giggling over milk mustaches …
In a moment we can lose so much. The loves of our life. As much as we have to do in this world – our careers, households, errands, appointments, meetings, scheduling, yard word, maintenance – we have one major obligation: our lives. Cherish those we love. Don’t go to bed or leave your home angry. Compromise. Bend. Break and heal at times. Remember why we are here. Surrender, and believe . And never let all the stressors of this world take from you the invaluable moments that in an instant could be gone.