Last fall I went to work with Aleen and while I was wandering around Long Beach I met this elderly lady who told me I was surrounded by death and that I needed to avoid red, black and dead plants. She was a nice lady, and when we parted ways I gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek and carried on my way, thinking about the whole surrounded by death thing.
She was right, though. The past few years have been full of death. Tragic, unexpected, gut-wrenching death. Last summer I remember laying on the bed at the nurses station, wailing. I wasn’t weeping or crying or sobbing. I was wailing. Because death had found its way in our lives and I couldn’t bear to see more grief. I remember a few winters ago when I went to hit Nicole up on her Facebook and see if she wanted to get coffee and wondering why everyone said they would miss her and stumbling upon a link to her obituary. I remember last year staying on Facebook for two hours straight until it was confirmed that Blake had died. I remember the call a few months ago when Brittany called early one morning and said through tears “We lost Lura.” and I said “where did she go?” These things don’t include the deaths of my friends’ parents or grandparents or friends. There’s been so much of it.
but this is what I’ve realized.
Life is for living.
Life is not for worrying or regretting or denying, wishing or hoping or dreaming.
and in realizing that life is for living, I’ve begun to notice life more. I cherish it in a new way.
When I was Dude of the Day at camp and I got to make the morning announcements, they would always sound like this:
“Good morning Camp Arnold! Today is Thursday, September 1st 2011 and it is the only Thursday, September 1st, 2011 you will ever experience. So get out of bed and start experiencing Thursday, September 1st, 2011.”
Here’s to Thursday, September 1st, 2011.