Some friends of ours recently lost their 15 year-old son and our entire community grieves with them with broken hearts. There are no words to express the sadness that this family is experiencing and everyone is struggling to process this tragic news.
The only thing I can think of that makes any sense at all in this moment is to keep close to my own two sons and cherish every moment as if it was the last moment.
As my boys got up this morning to head off to school I couldn’t help but feel somewhat guilty that this morning for my family was much like every morning. Make my coffee, pack some lunches and send my sleepy boys off to start their day. This is a routine that I most certainly take for granted and I can’t seem to figure out why?
How many other routines or daily events am I taking for granted in my life when I should be soaking them in and basking in the realization that these seemingly mundane moments are actually “the moments” that I will probably treasure for the rest my life.
How many rides to soccer practice have I slept walked thru? How many long rides to soccer games and never-ending weekend tournaments have I thought about other things I could be doing or other places I could be? The fact is, where else in the world would I rather be than sitting in a car talking about anything with my boys, or watching them be part of the teams they love on the soccer field?
I think about all the Sunday night family dinners and summer-time barbecues, Michigan football and basketball games that my small tribe so enjoys. Am I being present in those moments or wasting them responding to yet another email or would-be client in the endless distractions of my smart-phone.
Tragic events like these cut to the core of what is important and have a harsh way of putting life into meaningful perspective. They cause us all to look at how we are spending our most valuable asset… time. What parent wouldn’t give up all of their worldly possessions for more time with a child they have lost? And yet ironically the time spent away from these precious beings is all justified in the pursuit of the very possessions that we soon realize mean nothing without those we love.
As I listen to friends, family and parents all make useless attempts to come to terms with the loss this young man I keep hearing that we are all in the same boat, and that somehow we all have to keep on with our lives.
I will agree that our lives will indeed continue to go on, and yet I can only hope that we all take a hard look at how we go on. Let’s truly examine what we choose to put front and center and how we prioritize those things in our lives that we say we value the most. Finally let’s live up to those priorities in a manner that reflects just how important they really are.
I realize that these traumatic events have a way of getting us all to change our behaviors, yet like most everything those changes are often short lived and since we are creatures of habit, we often go back to what we know within a few weeks.
I feel that the best way I can honor this young man and the greatest comfort I could provide to his family would be to make those changes a permanent part of my daily experience. To live in the moment and be present with those I care for. That’s a lesson that would have the greatest impact on not just myself but everyone around me.
By valuing those seemingly mundane moments with those we love and truly not taking those things for granted maybe someday this will start making sense. Until that day actually comes I can only make this call to action… Hug your kids or someone you love, repair those broken relationships, call you parents, phone an old friend, bury your ego, and stay in touch with those you cherish. Don’t wait until it’s convenient or the time is right. Right now is the right time, tomorrow as we all know is not guaranteed. Take advantage of the here and now in this amazing gift we are given everyday… the Present.
Thoughts for the week in memory of Miles Roberts
-The trouble is, you think you have time. –Buddha
-Fairness, does not govern life or death. If it did no good person would ever die young. –Mitch Albom
-Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. –From an Irish Headstone
-The painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained. – Unknown
-Goodbyes hurt the most when the story is not finished- Unknown
-Grief never ends, but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith… It’s the price of love. -Unknown