With Easter approaching, I was reminded of an anniversary which I wish didn’t exist. The entry below is a blog I posted three years ago on Facebook. I am reposting it, due to the message I want to convey to the reader.
(Originally posted Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 8:09pm)
This is a very sad day as someone who has been a part of my life for 25 years is laid to rest. Ever since I got the news on Tuesday morning, my emotions have been all over the place.
Approximately 25 years ago, I worked as an Audio/Video Technician with a man who over the years would become one of my closest friends in life. We would bicker (jokingly) all the time over who was the best editor, camera person, etc. and our bickering just drew us closer together. As his friend, he invited me to many of his family functions. As such, his family sort of ‘adopted’ me. I have spent countless holidays with them– Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter. You name it, I was there as part of their family. They always had a running joke that if I was coming, they’d have to prepare twice as much food. Once, my friend said, “Mommy said if you’re coming to Thanksgiving dinner, she’s going to have to pick up an extra turkey.” LOL I always offered to help in the kitchen or clean up and was told many times, “Relax and do what you do best…eat!”
Tuesday morning on my way to work, I got the news from my ‘play’ brother that his sister had a heart attack on her way to work the day before. (He had tried several times to reach me, but my phone didn’t ring and I didn’t see that he had called until the morning.) I kept shouting, “No!” into the phone and had to stop in my tracks and stand up against a building before I passed out.
When you first hear news like this, you cannot believe it is true, especially, when as far as you know the person is healthy. We talked for a short while as he explained in detail how it happened, how they got word and everyone’s reaction.
When I told my boss, he said I could take the day off if I needed to. I would have had to close the office for the day and didn’t want to leave him stranded like that and thought I could make it through. Then at approximately, 11am, I lost it. I sobbed uncontrollably as the times we had spent together flashed across my mind. It lasted for about 15 minutes straight, then I was fine again…for a while.
One of my favorite memories was when my ‘play’ brother and ‘play’ sister came to my Dreamgirls party. Not only did she attend, when I was concerned that although I was having the party catered that I might not have enough food for the entire night, she prepared extra dishes…a lot of extra dishes…brought the pyro and did the set-up of everything. I had ordered more than enough food, but the fact that she did that for me and didn’t ask for anything, really touched my heart.
During this past week, not only have I revisited that night and many others with her and her family, I could not shake the fact that I will never see that smile again or hear her laughter. It’s difficult. I cannot even imagine what the entire family is going through. They had just all been together on Easter, not knowing it would be their last holiday together. It made me think of my life and wonder if I was to go ‘just like that’, have I done everything that I wanted to.
When I was younger, late teens… early twenties, I thought I knew exactly how my life was going to play out. When I had to adapt to situations that were out of my control and take detours, I starting realizing that nothing can ever really be planned. You can have a basic outline, goals, aspirations, and do your best to fulfill your expectations; but, you also have to live your life as if it was your last day. “One day, I’ll do this…”Next year, I’ll do that”….’One day’ and ‘next year’ may never come. The next year is not guaranteed to anyone.
So many people put their hopes and dreams on hold waiting for a ‘better time’. I stopped living my life like that many years ago. In earlier years, I had let so many opportunities pass me by because ‘the time wasn’t right’. Well, if I kept waiting for the time to be right, I would never have had so many wonderful opportunities open up for me and would not have had so many wonderful experiences in my life. Yes, sometimes I’ve made ridiculous choices and things didn’t quite work out as planned. but, we all make bad choices, at times. I have to say though, that my worst decisions have been when I went against my ‘instinct’ and listened to those who thought they knew better.
Many people value a successful life in dollars. I never have and I have been able to accomplish so much without it. My purpose in life is to be ‘happy’ and to spread that happiness to others. I recall saying this to someone once and they thought it was the stupidest thing they ever heard. Everyone has to live their life the way they see fit for them. I choose to keep positive people in my circle. That is a start. How can you live a happy life if you have negative people or things around you? The next part is on me. When it’s my time, I know that I have done everything that I ever wanted to do, I’ve done it to the best of my ability, I didn’t wait for the ‘right time’ and I shared whatever I could with whoever I could. My life has been a success – ups and downs included – and I wish that everyone would truly appreciate what they have and go for what they want. Life is precious.
I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.
Thank you and many blessings.