My friend died last night.
It was sudden. There was no warning.
I'm in shock.
Reminders of our mortality can be so harsh.
One of the things I am thinking about is:
If I knew I was living my last days, am I spending it as I would wish to be?
That's a tough question, because there is so much about going onward in our everyday lives that isn't necessarily charmed or inspired or especially meaningful. We go to work to earn the paycheck to pay the bills. We do the school to get the education to go forward from there.
This school year has already found me feeling at odds with what I feel I must do, and what I really want to do and feel would be better for us. Today's news of the loss of my friend brings this to my mind again. It makes my everyday life feel like a gamble: If I stay the course, if I'm fortunate, eventually we will be through this season and free to do something that we'd rather be doing. If I don't stay the course and jump ship now, some money would be "lost" but freedom would be gained. It would also be unsettling for some of my kids, though also a blessed relief for others!
If I knew I was coming down the home stretch of my life right now, I like to think we'd ditch the schooling situation we're in and head to New England to see the fall leaves, and I'd spend time with the kids bundled up in cozy blankets around the living room while reading them Little Britches, Kildee House, and Sign of the Beaver. We'd finally get around to having that Harry Potter movie marathon day, and the LOTR movie marathon day. We'd play Guitar Hero, and I'd remember to buy the replacement Wii remotes. We'd take a school day to go to the apple orchard and pick apples and buy cider to fill the downstairs fridge. I'd have time to cook nicer meals, and we'd get out Gram's china plates and enjoy having everything look nice, and we'd talk around the table more.
Unfortunately, most of us can't really "live like there's no tomorrow." If we did, tomorrow would eventually be a shambles. I guess the trick is to find ways to continue to focus on the important things, to live with purpose, and to enjoy the blessings that we have all around us each day.
I know my friend would agree. She was a really special person. What a huge loss for all who knew her.