Yesterday afternoon I got a text message from AZ neighbors two doors down. He told me that our next door neighbor — the one in the house between his and ours — had passed away earlier in the afternoon from a heart attack. This is the second acquaintance of ours in a short period of time who died of a second heart attack a few days after having an earlier heart attack.
I was stunned. I hadn’t gotten a chance to go see her since we’ve been back. That kind of news is always a shock. We know that no one gets out of this world alive, but we’re always caught by surprise when it’s someone we know.
I said above that I hadn’t gotten a chance to go see her since we’ve been back. That’s, of course, a completely untrue statement. I could have dropped by any number of times and invited her over for a cup of coffee. I thought about it often. As recently as yesterday morning, I told Bill as we passed her house on our morning walk that I needed to pop my head in to say hi to Patsy.
When something like this happens to someone you know, the obvious takeaway– and the one I’m certainly feeling — is that we should enjoy every single moment of every single day. And perhaps even more important, we should be kind to friends and family, for certain, but also to strangers. We should not spend moments of pointless regret about things over which we have no control or can’t change. We should hug the ones we love often, and laugh with our friends whenever we have a chance. We should consider all of the things that really are important in this life, and not spend any time at all on the things that aren’t important.
We shouldn’t let a day go by when we don’t feel gratitude for all that we have, and thank God for our gifts, for our family, and for our blessed lives. And for heaven’s sake, reach out and touch those around us.