I've been thinking about life a lot lately. There is so much good but there is also so much sad. I think about mortality and the unknown. I have no idea how long I’ll be here. How long God has given me. But this has been weighing so heavily on my heart lately that I have to write about it. I remember one day earlier this year, I was on my way to work when I passed a horrible accident on the opposite side of the road involving a tractor trailer. It really shook me up. About a week and a half later, I lost my Mom.
The reality of life and more so the reality of death hit me like a brick. I will never forget the way it felt to watch my mother take her final breath. Never. To listen to the medical examiner give her official time of death. To meet with the Funeral Director to plan her funeral. It was so final. And so real.
And the truth is, people lose their lives everyday. People I’ve never met before.
Many of you may already know that I visit my Mom’s grave every weekend. I know she is no longer there. But to me, visiting the cemetery allows me to think. It’s where I get most of my reflecting done. I sit or walk or stand and just think about the full spectrum of life. I have, in a sense, gotten to “know” the other people who come to visit. I can tell they are visiting their late wives or sons.
I look out at the headstones and know that every one of these people had a story, a family, a life they lived however long or short.
The spot next to my mom’s grave belongs to a boy who was my age. We were born the same year. I’ve seen who I’m assuming was his mother there a few times. He passed away just a month before my mother. My heart breaks for him. There is another boy two rows up who went to high school right up the street but never even got the chance to graduate because he got into a car with someone under the influence. And the boy diagonal from him who was 26, my age, when he was killed in a car accident.
That’s three guys my age or not much younger than me who are right there around my mom’s grave. And there are hundreds more headstones in just that one cemetery alone. Every time I go there, I remind myself to live for those three guys I never got to meet. To not only chase my dreams but make them happen. To marry my true love. To raise a strong, loving family. To hold my grandchildren one day. I PRAY so hard that I will have the chance to live a life that full, as my Mom did.
Yesterday, again on the way to work, I saw a horrific scene as soon as I entered onto the freeway. Traffic in the opposing lanes was completely stopped and there were more vehicles with flashing lights than I could count. I saw a Penske truck and a sedan. The sedan was completely mangled in the front. My brother takes that route to work everyday and I texted him. He was safe but had been stuck in the back-up for nearly two hours. I thanked God that he was safe.
I later found out that a man had gotten out of the Penske truck and was around the back of it when a car slammed into him at full speed. As I write this, he is in critical condition. I don’t know who he is, where he was moving to, or how he is now but please pray. Pray for all of those people struggling to hang on to this precious gift of life. And please, let us not ever take a single second for granted.
Between the shootings that have occurred recently in Colorado and Wisconsin, all the violence throughout the world, and the innocent lives lost right here in my community, my heart just breaks. It's a constant reminder of this being our one life to live. Live it wisely. Live it fully.
A post to follow will cover the happier times of life :)