08 September, 2013

The Brevity of Life

The past year has been one of the strangest and most difficult years of my life. Beginning with the death of my dear friend Neil Smith last November there began a whirlwind of unexpected deaths of friends and former classmates from high school. In 10 months there were 27 deaths, all of them but 2 under the age of 56 years old. I have to admit that all this has had me paying a lot more attention to and considering my own mortality. Then in April while having some tests done, they discovered several tumors in my body. My doctor warned me quite frankly that it did not look too good and told me to get prepared to fight cancer. It was a tough 7 weeks as I went through all the tests, especially because I only told a couple of family members and very few very dear friends. I remember dancing with my wife at a wedding this Spring and it hit me that I could be leaving her. I did not say anything but she saw the look in my eyes and asked me why I looked so sad. Thankfully, all of my test came out good and I am free and clear of cancer, but it has left me thinking a great deal. Then last night I was at my high school reunion and there was a memorial video of friends who had left us way too early. It was all I could do to choke back the tears as I was reminded of many deaths and stunned to discover that old friends had died and I did not know of their passing. I sat there in my chair watching that video and made a resolution to myself that I was going to begin working extra hard to re-connect with lost friends and spend more time with them. Last night was a good start, but it is only a start. Time waits for none of us, and we have to redeem the time and make the most of it. As a Christian, I trust God that my future is secure in Christ, but I have to use this time I have left in this life to the fullest. I only get to do it once. I'm going to be like George Bailey and make the most of a second chance. I encourage you to do the same. I don't know about you, but I don't want to stand before one more casket or grave filled with regrets and "if only's.

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