Sad Times

Last week wasn't great.  My resolutions have not been at the top of the list of priorities.

Last week we received news that my sister-in-law had passed away.  She was 30.  It was sudden and unexpected; the autopsy showed that she had passed from a blood clot that had traveled to her lungs and caused a heart attack.  Her boyfriend found her, gone, when he came home from work.

Shaf was a beautiful person inside and out.  She was an amazing mother to her 9 year old son, a supportive sister to Chris, a loving and ever-present aunt to her nieces, and a patient and kind daughter.  Her son was her world and his life has now been changed forever, along with everyone else who had ever crossed her path.

In light of this news, I don't feel it is appropriate to comment on my resolutions and goals this week.  Instead I am taking the time to re-evaluate what is important in life.  We are all truly living on borrowed time, and each day that we get is a gift.  So cliche, but so very true.

My family has been through a lot in the last year and a half.  One day I'll share the gory details, but it hasn't been easy.  There have been numerous heart breaks, Jerry Springer worthy plots, and now two very sad deaths.  I look at my life today and still can't believe this is how things have played out.

I hear myself complain, I get angry over things that happen, I am still angry over the past mistakes that have been made (both by myself and others) and yet I question why I am wasting my time on anything negative at all?  I am not promised tomorrow, so why waste a single second on unpleasant feelings of anger, jealousy, resentment?

I set out this year to live my best life.  This can't just be another failed resolution.  I can't say I'll try better next year, next week, next month, because I may not get that opportunity.  I am positive that had Shaf been giving the choice to live even a few more days with her son, she would have done everything possible to make that happen.  She wasn't given that choice, but we are.  We have the opportunity to live our best life every day.  To be kind and supportive, to be loving and non-judgmental.  Why on earth would we choose anything else?

I know it's hard - life gets in the way.  Financial stress, relationship hurdles, parenting issues - but we can choose to handle each of these situations differently then we are now.  Perhaps as learning opportunities to constantly be bettering ourselves.  Sadly we won't be around forever.  We won't always have the time to fix our mistakes, to reconnect with loved ones, to mend relationships.  Lets do it now, while we can.  I have a lot of work to do on myself, and I know it won't be easy, it hasn't been easy thus far, but I have got to keep pushing.  I don't want to live with regrets.  I don't want to die with them either.

I'll end with a picture of Shaf and her son, when she came to visit us in the hospital when Brie was born, just 11 weeks ago.  She sat there with her family not knowing that her life would be coming to an end so soon afterwards.  She has left behind a legacy of love and understanding - that is how people will remember her.  How will people remember you?  Is there something you can do now to ensure you are remembered as you would like to be?  Think about it, and make the changes now, while you still can.