Friday, September 22, 2006

Rest in peace...

I haven't slept well this week because I've been plagued with thoughts of sadness over the death of a lovely person--Jeanette. She was only 40 years old, my brother's friend and former classmate, and she was the sister and sister in law of good friends of mine. My brother, sister and I went to high school with them and their cousins, heck it was a small town, small school, where everyone knew everyone else. And when one of them dies, especially someone you knew and liked and whose family you care about, it really hits you hard.

Jeanette was laid to rest today. Her family and friends and even former classmates and people who knew her long ago, will all miss her. She was just a special person and everyone who knew her liked her. She was a beautiful girl not just on the outside but on the inside too. What you remembered about her was the kind of person she was--her warm and genuine personality. She came from a good family, they are good people--and my heart goes out to my friends in their loss.

Each time we experience the death of someone who means something to us, we are faced with our own mortality, and we are forced to re-examine our own lives and take inventory by asking ourselves things like "am I living the kind of life that makes me happy?" or "have I become a better person than I was yesterday?" or "am I a good and decent person contributing positively to the people and world around me?"

We get one life, one chance to live it and then poof!--like that--we're gone, sometimes with warning, but many times without. We get one life, let's make the best of it. Forgive those who have been cruel to us, loan our shoulder to someone who needs a friend, be patient with those who are slow, be kind to those who are mean, and offer our smile, heart and warmth to a person who has none. There's a multitude of things we can do, and really it's not for ourselves although helping others makes us feel good, but it's about making someone else feel good too. Making one's mark on the world has nothing to do with giving away millions or being famous, it's about how we positively impact the lives of others.

It's a sad day...but as I was telling my friend and former schoolmate Katrina on the phone the other day, out of all things bad comes something good....

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