"It seems that it is madder never to abandon oneself, than often to be infatuated; better to be wounded, a captive, and a slave, than always to walk in armor."
In about 20 minutes this morning I learned of the deaths of 2 young people under 25 with personal connections. One was a young man in Fennville that friends of mine know, and the other was a young man that is a cousin to a guy I went to school with for 13 years. On his facebook page, the day before his death, the cousin wrote: "24 has been the best year of my life, so far at least."
UPDATE: The family members of the young man in the above paragraph asked me to include his cause of death. It was a very sudden death, and he was only 24, so an autopsy was performed. It was determined that he had used heroin. A quote from the family: "He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Michigan Engineering school. He was a smart kid who did a stupid thing. My Aunt and Uncle do not want this to ever happen to another parent that thinks this can never happen to them."
Remember this young man. Talk to your kids, no matter HOW old they are. I don't know if this young man used heroin a dozen times or just once. But once is all it takes. You can do drugs ONE TIME and die. It's that simple. If you need to scare your kids to not do drugs, then I say scare the crap out of them. If you are suspicious and confront them, and they get angry, let them get angry. At least they'll be alive. NEVER, EVER think, oh, that would never be my child.
Okay, now if that doesn't make you stop and think about what's important....You've got issues.
So my challenge to you (and myself!): LIVE. Don't worry about what people think. Don't let fear or anxiety or the "what-if's" stop you from pursuing your dreams.
Life is SHORT. Even for those of us who have days that feel like months...for those in chronic pain, who have chronic illness...this is a drop in the bucket compared to eternity. A DROP do you hear me? Get out there and DO. YOUR. THING. Don't let ANYONE tell you you CAN'T because you're too sick or too short or too tall or too thin or too fat or too poor or too anything.
And for the love of God Himself, tell people you love them. Cherish them. CHERISH them. Value your loved ones. Do you think either sets of these parents expected to be burying their children in the prime of their lives? No way. My sister died in a car wreck when I was 16. She was 18. That changed me. I started realizing what was important back then.
Then I got sick, and once again I was reminded of how very precious life is. Do you have a rift in a relationship? Fix it. Are you and your spouse grumping at each other all the time? Stop it. Are you sniping at your kids all the time? Shut your mouth. (And I'm preaching to the choir here, folks, so I'm right there with ya). Are you having a pity party? Snap out of it. There are people out there who have it a lot worse than I do, and I need to remember that.
So there it is.
"Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion." G.W.F. Hegel