Today is the funeral of one of my beloved cousins. He slipped on the ice in his driveway as he went out to retrieve the Sunday paper in early February, sustained severe head trauma, was in a coma for quite some time, emerged from that and made a tiny bit of progress with hand movements. But before he could make much headway, he stopped progressing and eventually went backward. These past several weeks, he's been in hospice; and on Tuesday he died.
I tell you this because it's such a stark reminder, to me anyway, of the fact that our lives can change on a dime. One day you walk outside to get the Sunday paper, and your life changes forever. For his wife and children, life changed drastically after that fall, too.
What this tells me more than anything is to see each moment as precious. Speak from my heart. Be authentic. Tell my loved ones how much I love them. Tell people when I appreciate them, who they are and what they do. Savor life—all the small moments as well as the big ones. Listen to the birds. Smell the flowers. Follow my dreams. Don't wait until tomorrow. Live from my heart. Reach out to others. Treat others kindly—I have no idea what they're facing or feeling.
Ah, so many life lessons from this one tragic event. I want to pay attention to them.