August 31, 2012

A Wake Up Call

1,000 Good Mornings to You

Every so often, I receive an email from a friend or family member that causes me to pause and think. Often these emails are heart-wrenching personal stories about people and/or families dealing with tragedy. When I get one of these messages I always think about the "random" folks I cross paths with and the reality that I know next to nothing about their lives. The reality is, they may be enduring something just as tragic; I simply don't know it, or care to take the time to find out.

The email below is from my mom. I have changed the names. I read this today at work and was moved to tears.

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On another note, last Monday, one of my students mother ended her four year battle with cancer. She left behind a 2nd, 4th and a high school senior. (all girls) The girls are such wonderful girls. Even when the mom was in terrible pain, her face lit up when she would come and pick up her girls. She always had a smile and was such a godly woman. The wake is Friday after school with the funeral on Saturday. These girls are the sweetest girls. Like their mom, they always have a smile on their face and are always so kind and loving to those around. They are also so cute! Their beauty is on the outside, but runs deep in their soul. They will plan on returning to school after Labor Day. The dad planned the funeral around the school calendar. He knew many faculty/staff, parents and students would want to come. (The HS left Wed. for a retreat, and will be back on Friday) The senior girl, Susan, has been the mother to the younger ones for several years. She is the one who checks the homework, braids hair, packs lunches, buys school supplies, etc. The father works in Chicago, so his commute has made things especially hard on the family. In the past year, the father lost his father, the wife lost her twin brother, and his mom is in a nursing home. Their plate has been full.

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Awhile back I wrote a blog post about treating people like it's their last day on earth. Why is it that it takes hearing a sad story like this for things to be slammed back into perspective? Why is it that in all likelihood I will probably forget about this family in about four days? Every day on this fractured earth truly is a gift. I suppose the trick is actually remembering it.

So, 1,000 good mornings to you. I hope today is memorable. 

Note: A special "thank you" to everyone that sent me advice for my marriage post.  It should be posted soon. Click here for part one of the "Best Marriage Advice Ever."

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