In a small town, everybody knows everybody. OK, that’s not true. We don’t know everybody. But you know that so-and-so is related to so-and-so, and that everyone is connected and interconnected in hundreds of ways.
You don’t dare scowl about Person A because she’s darn well going to be related to the person with whom you’re confiding.
A couple of weeks ago, my near 90-year old friend shared the news. A beloved woman in our community–a kindergarten teacher–the wife of our mailman–had unexpectedly died.
She was 52 years old, a year younger than me.
It was spring break. She was going on a trip-in-a-lifetime with grandkids to see Disney World in Florida. She headed for Detroit and spent the night with relatives.
She never made it to Disney World. Never made it to shake hands with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and show pictures of her grandchildren screaming in delight on carousals or fancy rides.
She never woke up in Detroit before the airplane lifted off toward Florida. She died of an unexpected brain aneurysm.
One minute you’re here. The next minute you’re gone.
So sudden. So unexpected.
Such a tragedy.
I met her husband at the mailbox yesterday with a handful of Easter cards headed for my own loved ones. Expressed my sorrow. Tried to imagine even the tiniest bit of how he might be feeling. Tried to imagine what it would be like if my loved one was gone tomorrow.
All of us who hear this story can only do one thing. No, we can do two things. We can turn away from the computer and forget it within five seconds and go back to our busy lives. Or we can be shocked into remembering the privilege of being alive, of sharing our life with loved ones, of the gifts of living on this planet.
Here today; gone tomorrow.
So quickly life passes.
I vow to appreciate this life even more today. Tomorrow. The next day. To not take it for granted. To celebrate our precious wild beautiful lives…