The sudden passing of an old friend, Bill, this week flashed me back to the day dad knocked on the door during the early morning hours and sadly and quietly said, “She's gone home.” That was September 2nd, 2007. The day that one of the most influential people in my life, my mom, an Angel visiting for a little while, went home. All of those emotions came rushing back, and my heart instantly went out to all of Bill's family who I knew would be feeling the loss the strongest, and to those friends who like I had known him for decades. Some things, some people, can never be replaced, and like mom, Bill was one of those people.
I'm struggling to write this through tears this morning. I'm usually not an emotional guy, I can probably count on one hand the number of people who've seen me cry, but today it's hitting me hard for some reason. So many loved ones and friends lost over the years. Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, Bill, Tom, Heather, Wesley, Leighton, Isaac, Angie, Patrick, the list goes on and on. So many goodbyes, and so many goodbyes I'll never get to properly say.
Today, I want to challenge you to contemplate this tough subject with me for a minute. If you or your loved one was no longer here tomorrow, would you be happy with how you've lived your life? Would you be happy with how you left the relationship?
|Bill – 1952-2018|
I've been sick this week, probably my regular friendly sinus & lung infection that seems to come to visit about this time every year. Waking up feeling like I'm underwater struggling to breathe on the anniversary of my mother's death makes me contemplate my own mortality and miss her even more. I'm not dying any time soon, at least I hope not, so don't worry, this isn't one of those stories, but it does make me stop and think about the legacy I wish to leave and the people who I care about who will one day be gone.
A Challenge For You Today
Deaths are a reminder for us that life is frail; none of us make it out of here alive. It could be today, it could be a hundred years from today, but it will come. That is simply a fact, neither good nor bad. Each of us will have two dates on our earthly tombstone, the day we were born, and the day we died. As a Christian, I have hope that there is more, but I know that we are only in this phase of life for a little while, so we need to make the most of it.
I challenge you to think about those you admire the most today. What qualities do they have? Are you fostering those same qualities in yourself? Will your children, spouse, friends, and others remember you how you want to be remembered? It's never too late to change; until it is.
Think about those you love. If they were gone tomorrow, would you be happy with how you've left the relationship? Are you enjoying the time you have with them today? Please note that if you are in or have exited an abusive relationship, I'm not telling you to suck it up and stick it out or go back in, you need to establish healthy boundaries to protect yourself. You can love someone yet not put yourself in a situation where they can take advantage of you. What I am challenging you to do is take a hard look at your relationships today and make sure those you love know they are appreciated, and make sure you've done what you can on your side to heal any broken relationships.
Give those you love an extra hug today. You may not have the chance tomorrow.
About the Author
Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.
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