Earlier this week I had one of those moments when life slaps you in the face and suddenly my perspective changes.
I didn’t realize how much I truly love and appreciate my family. I mean, they have always been at the forefront of my thoughts and I knew I loved each of them more than I could ever try to explain. But this week I witnessed something that no family would ever want to go through.
Without going into a whole lot of detail, I watched a family, one that I don’t know, lose a very close family member to a tragic accident. Although their day started out with a fun family outing, it quickly turned into an afternoon of what I can only imagine being filled with terror, uncertainty, sorrow, and grief amongst a host of other horrifying feelings.
When I first heard of this family and what they were experiencing, I immediately turned my thoughts to my own young family. I too have a loved one the same age of the one who had passed away. My heart immediately broke, actually shattered, when hearing the end result of what was supposed to be a great time while creating many happy memories.
I don’t know if that family had expressed their love for each other that day, or had shared a hug and a kiss with one another. I suspect that their day had started out just like any other day and not expecting anything “eventful” to happen.
How many times have I woke up and gone about my business and treating the day ahead of me just like any other? How many times have I rushed out the door with out fully expressing my love to my wife and kids? How many times have I put off the opportunity to share a precious moment, with the ones who matter most, for another day?
Later that same night I had heard the tragic news, I came home and held my wife and kids a little longer, expressed my love and appreciation to each of them a little more than I had before, and truly felt the gratitude of a being so fortunate and blessed to have each of my family members in my life. They all went about their business that I had interrupted while I sat back for a few minutes just watching them as I sat at the kitchen table wondering what that poor family was going through at that same moment.
I don’t know exactly why some people experience more tragic things than others do. I don’t know how some people have more strength and courage than others do. I don’t know why I deserve such a great life. But what I do know is that this life is so fragile and tender that if I don’t take every opportunity to express my true thoughts, feelings, and affection to those I love, then some day it may be too late and that is something I could never forgive myself for.