tonight i got a message from a former co-worker & current friend that a mutual friend of ours (also a former co-worker) passed away last night after losing an almost 2 year battle with cancer. she was young. only 30. with 2 young children & a loving husband. she was your typical asheville, hippie, tree-hugging, dread-locks-wearing woman. only she was not typical. she & i worked at the same high school with teenagers that had difficult lives, difficult learning problems, and extremely difficult behaviors. but she was a rock. she was firm, quiet, & loving with everyone she met. and she was someone that i found that i could talk to during the time after lina & i got married and lived in separate countries – a really difficult time for me. we met in the teacher’s lounge, or my classroom, or her classroom and we chatted. oh my gosh, she was always smiling, always positive, and always willing to help people. the earth will have an empty place where she once was.
i had no idea that her health had gotten even worse… i heard from her about 2-3 months ago & she was still fighting. but the battle was lost. and now tiny memories of her are flashing through my mind. it’s so unfair. beautiful people, young people, people who bring about peace wherever the go…. for them to just be gone. ugh.
the crazy thing is, when i received the news about my friend, lina & i were watching a movie, “in time”, about people who live in a society where they have the amount of time that they have left to live on their arm. the people in the movie can see at all times as the seconds click away from their lives. so, they must decide what to do with their time, how to spend it (because everything in this society is bought with time), or whether to share their time with someone who is running out of time. will they save it or give it away? will they sit and watch time pass or will they squeeze everything out of every second that they can. ironically, those who had accumulated hundreds or thousands of years seemed to do nothing with their time, their lives; while those who had only a day or only a few hours left lived life to the fullest. but, i guess that’s how it is, isn’t it?
what would you do? what would i do, if i knew how much time i had left? better yet, what will i do, what will you do since we don’t know how much time we have left? will we assume that we have all the time in the world? or will we soak up everything, spread happiness, take risks, live life, share our feelings, embrace it all as if we might not exist tomorrow. will we take everything for granted or will we savor each precious moment?
i’m sure my friend knew that her time was drawing to a close, but it wasn’t only then that she began to focus on those things in life which are most important. as i knew her, she savored, enjoyed, and expected much out of every moment of her life, even from the time that i met her, before she was sick. and while she is not here with us on earth anymore, she has reminded me tonight how fragile life is. she has given me the gift of reality and pushed me to try even harder to truly live life, to hug more, to laugh more, to cry more, to dance more, to see & experience more, and to love more deeply.
so, my dear friends & family, tonight i send out to you, all the warm thoughts, hugs, and vibes that a girl can send. i tell you that whether i know you or not, you are important. and i truly believe that my sweet, wonderful friend is helping all of that peaceful, positive energy get to all of you. thank you for being you. now, get out there & live your life!