I stepped into the room as loved ones surrounded her bed. My eyes scanned the room taking it all in, amazed at how life can flip so fast.
One minute my dear friend and I were taking laps around the football field talking about work — joking about how folks know how to hit our last nerve, and the next, I’m standing in a hospital room with a knot the size of a golf ball in my throat–flailing for the right words to say to a familiar friend.
I remember her being yellow. So very yellow. So very yellow.
With a soft and uncertain voice I said, “We raised some money. Hopefully, this helps to cover meals and stuff for the family while you are in here.” I slid my sweaty palms into my pockets trying not to let nervousness win. She smiled, and even though I thought she couldn’t glow any more, she did. This time it was her spirit within.
She asked everyone to leave the room so she could be alone with me. Fear consumed me. What was she going to say? What was I going to say? The silence was heavy and yet, fragile as folk scattered out.
“Come closer,” she bided, and just like a frightened child, I did. We talked about sickness. We talked about family. We talked about what happened and how it happened so fast. We talked about our kids. We talked about what the doctors were saying. We talked about a lot. Yet, the only specifics that I vividly remember was the tear.
She looked at me, and a tear jerked slowly and rigidly down her cheek. “I’m scared.” I wiped her tear, and what little air left in the room evaporated. I swallowed the knot in my throat, and asked, “You want to pray?”
Of course she did. God and hope were always a part of our conversations long before we had to share a moment like this.
Not even 2 full days later, she died. At 42.
Fast forward to this year and I watched one of my best friends in the entire world bury her husband. He was only 43, and they had such big plans together. Untimely. Uncertain. Unfair.
These stories stirred something in me, and I’ve figured out that that something is called life. These untimely deaths make me want to live life –full out, with no regrets, no things left unsaid, no purpose unfulfilled, no dream unchased. My mission is to die free and empty–having given every single day my all.
Being five months from 41, and knowing that they were only 42 and 43….there is now a sense of urgency to get busy living.
I thought I was already, but I wasn’t. I’ve been settling. Settling for safety. Setting for comfort. Settling for convenience. But their deaths gave two invaluable things to me: perspective and pressure to live life full out!
I wish you all love, peace, prosperity, and, of course, a proper perspective regarding the preciousness of time.