It's just one little word. Four letters. Two consonants and two vowels. Even now looking back at it typed out, it seems so little, so simple. It's just LIFE. Don't we all say that from time to time? It's LIFE. Get over it. That's LIFE.
Yep...it is. It is just life. But how quickly it can change. Last February my life was moving along and everything was pretty much hunky dory and then BAM...outta nowhere, in one split second, everything changed.
When I trace the events back, it's so amazing how one decision, one event, set in motion a change that rocked our family.
Apparently, it started with a broken down vehicle. Four soldiers had to move into other vehicles when they had to abandon theirs. Why did the vehicle fail? What broke down? That, I guess, was the thing that set this in motion. Then, why, of all the vehicles in the convoy, did Schuyler get into THAT one? From accounts at the scene, he got into a Humvee that was either in the front or toward the front of the convoy. Why THAT one? Choosing a different one would've made an incredible difference...the difference between life and death.
Obviously the events in Afghanistan are front and center on my mind this month, but something else this week has gotten me thinking about this very topic. A friend of mine has a co-worker and here's his story. His wife took a shower 2 weeks ago on Saturday. She apparently fell in the shower and hit her head. She didn't think she was really injured, so went about her day. Later that afternoon/evening she passed out at a family dinner. Apparently something was wrong. She was rushed to the hospital and taken through a battery of tests. As it turns out, something was severely wrong. She had a brain bleed and was not expected to wake up....EVER.
The husband (my friend's coworker) brought her home yesterday from the hospital with hospice. She was coming off of the machines keeping her alive and going home to die in her own home. She passed away this morning.
Just like that....In An Instant. This couple was going along with their normal, probably hectic life, and BAM. That "in an instant" event flies in and changes the course of everything. Not the course of the day...not the course of the month...the course of absolutely EVERYTHING. His life isn't the same.
That just freaks me out.
This is obviously why Mom gave me these bits of wisdom, which seemed really useless at the time.
- Don't go to bed mad
- Always say "I Love You" before you leave
- Never let the fight/argument linger
- Tell people how you feel about them
I can't imagine how I would feel today had I not closed each discussion with Schuyler with an "I Love YOU...I'm proud of you...and I miss you!"
I think my Mom was already on her journey out by the time they let me in the ICU. I told her again, though, just in case she could still hear me. I don't, for even a second, doubt that she knew, even had we not made it there before she died, that I loved her so incredibly much.
So...just remember as crazy and as hectic as things get sometime, it can all change in an instant. I know it's not possible most of the time to slow down and take a slower pace. But, no matter what, or how fast you're going, you can always tell those folks who are important to you how you feel. Living like that surely means dying with no regrets.