Thursday, June 2, 2011

In an instant

I was going to write something funny today, about my kids routinely flooding the backyard with the hose as their primary source of amusement this summer, but then yesterday happened.

Life has a way of doing that.

Getting in the way.  Reminding you not to let your guard down and get complacent.  Pointing out the reality that almost everything about our existence is dictated by other forces, as much as we may want to believe that we alone control our fate.  

We don't.  We are beholden to others.  At the mercy of decisions made by complete strangers.

It's amazing how much your life can change from one moment to the next.  Sometimes for the better. 

Like the second you got your first real paycheck in your hands and realized you could do this.

Like the first time you saw that line on a pregnancy test. 

Like the first time they placed a squirming newborn in your arms.

Like the day your child conquered their fear and took off without training wheels for the first time.

Like when you fell in love.

Sometimes your life can instantly improve, just like that. 

Sometimes those moments can change your life for the worst.

Like when you got a panicked phone call from a hospital parking lot at two in the morning.

Like when you sat in a doctor's office and heard the word cancer.

Like when they said the baby was gone.

Like the second you realize you can't stop the car and brace yourself for the impact you know is coming.

I'm sure that if any one of you were to think about the times in your life that were turning points, you'd see that many of those turns were essentially instantaneous shifts.  From one minute to the next.

One of those shifts happened to some dear friends of mine yesterday. 

They've a new journey to embark on now.  One different than the road they'd been set on.  One that too many are walking on these days.  One filled with uncertainty.

Take a moment to look around you today.  To be grateful for all the things that you have.  The love you are surrounded with.  The life you are accustomed to.  That which you take for granted.

It could be gone in an instant.

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