Monday, February 7, 2011

One Less

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein

I received an email today, which informed me that a mom from my daughters' swim team passed away last week. She was a non-smoker who was diagnosed with lung cancer over a year ago. She was admired by many here in our small, tight-knit community. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family during this difficult time.

Unfortunately, I didn't know her. At least I don't think we ever met. My daughters just started swim team last summer. But, from what I understand, she played an active role on the team in recent years.  She even made it to meets last summer immediately after receiving chemo treatment. She suffered that which sounded like a pulmonary embolism.  So, it was a battle that she endured, but the end was sudden. Now their family of four is one less.

I found myself staring at the beautiful photo of her and her family that I received via email today. I might not have known her, but I knew her. She was a mom, like me, who lived in the same community, she drove on the same roads and shopped in the same stores.

It's sad to hear about loss such as this. It reminds me of just how far removed from death I feel sometimes. It's as though it's the furthest thing from my mind. Then, I get an email like the one that I received today and reality sets in. The reality that the woman I mentioned was probably cruizn' along at full speed a little over a year ago, worrying about the same things that I worry about today...swim practice, grocery shopping, dry cleaning, report cards, you know -the important stuff. And then everything suddenly changed for her and her family. It reminds me that it could change for my family just as quickly. So, I shut the computer off, let the laundry stay in the dryer and hug the girls extra tightly and twice as long. I take the time to ask them about every single detail of their day. I do this for a while and then I get caught up in life again and forget. I forget that this life of mine is a gift and that every moment spent taking it for granted, is a moment wasted.

I forget that those tiny feet that track in mud, will soon be walking out the door to go to college, and that the dog that's leaving paw prints all over our french doors will leave our family before we're ready to say goodbye (because dogs always leave too soon). I forget that the guy I married, the one who forgot to pick up the milk at the grocery store also happens to be the most amazing father I've ever known. I forget to watch the girls when they laugh just because they're laughing and that a five year old child's fib, isn't the end of the world...

I forget that nothing is the end of the world, here on earth, except for the actual end of our world, here on earth.  And, as I'm busy forgetting to be grateful for every moment that we have together, I miss out on some pretty cool stuff. I just know it.