I realized last night that I really care about people. Not in a I-have-to-because-they’re-my-family kind of way but in a people matter, like really matter, way. I realized this week how fragile life can be. Our family friend was diagnosed less than a month ago with stage four pancreatic cancer and it is terminal. Sitting by her in the hospital room this week was eye opening for me. It showed me that our worlds can be turned upside down in an instant. Tragic moments can happen any time, and inevitably humans lose loved ones. Everyone we love will die, and we too will eventually die. I already knew this of course. It wasn’t like my parents anxiously hid death from me, it’s just that I preferred to ignore the truth of the matter. I lost my grandad a couple months ago, but it happened all the way in England, far away from me. I didn’t have to watch death up close and personal. I did see him on Skype one last time and I cried and he cried because we both knew it was the last time we’d see each other until we meet again in heaven. That was a really rough day for me seeing him so thin, sitting in a hospital bed. The memory I have of him before that was from four years ago, he was wheelchair bound, but still so joyful. He played the harmonica spontaneously at my wedding during the dance party and my mom, aunt and grandma sang along. That is an amazing memory. Betsy, our family friend, is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met. We have sobriety in common and Christianity too. She is a talented conversationalist, and remembers things that you tell her. I have only known her for a couple of years, and we probably have only spent time together less than ten times. But it’s still sad seeing someone you know dying before your eyes. It’s really sad, but it did show me something remarkable: I need to be enjoying each day as if it is my last. That means, every beautiful flower or butterfly, every person I encounter, ever laugh I have needs to be noticed. I need to be present, in this moment, enjoying this time writing right now as I am writing, not worried about what my friend will think because I’m going to be twenty-five minutes late to her house warming party. I need to be doing Gods will this very moment. Since I visited Betsy in the hospital I have really been noticing people. Really soaking them in. For example, I made a banner for Chris yesterday because he is going on a west coast tour tomorrow and I stopped by a sign store where I spent time with a man who wished he wasn’t a sign man. I listened to him, not trying to change him or force him to see life from my optimistic point of view. Additionally, I went to Iliad book store and sold a few books to a woman. I wondered about her and her life and whether she was satisfied or just getting by. A final example, last night Chris and I went to a Yogurtland and met a five year old named Chloe who made our day. She complimented us on everything she noticed about us. She told us what she wanted to be when she grew up (a preschool teacher so that she could be in charge). She danced with no holding back and asked me if I liked the song. She showed us her donkey kick and her 360 twirl. She told Chris he had nice hair, shirt, pants, shoes, and…lips (LOL). And she asked him if he made a lot of money. She was hilariously inappropriate, and had no idea. This made her dad feel embarrassed and we told him not to worry; she was perfectly content living in the moment. Our hearts were full. She told us about how her little boyfriend moved to another school but it was ok because she’d see him at his birthday party. Her birthday is March 18th, she’ll be six. She’s going to kindergarten. She reminded me of little me before little me got hurt by the bullies at school. My mom always says that I had a ton of energy when I was little. I recently got that energy back through sobriety. I’m allowed to dance and enjoy life and so are you. I urge you to wake up and notice the moment. Tell the people you love how much they mean to you. Last weekend my parents were in town for my sisters birthday. My dad and I were walking on the beach and he wanted to hold my hand. I wondered for a moment what other people might think of us. Were they thinking I was his young looking wife? I held his hand. I didn’t give a F what people thought because… I got to hold my dad’s hand. He’s alive and I love him for being affectionate and loving. Warm fuzzies! I am going to work on not caring as much what other people think about me, and really enjoying the people in my life. I am going to love despite pain, and I am going to look right into your eyes and see you.
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