Cheer Peppers it’s Nano Poblano day 3!
When I was just 17 or maybe it was 18, I agreed to go out with a nice young man that I knew through a good friend of mine. He was sweet but I was not eager to go out with him, and when the day came for our date I called to reschedule. I don’t really remember what excuse I gave and I am not sure that I truly planned to reschedule either. I just didn’t have a clue how to get out of it without hurting his feelings, which he didn’t deserve. My friend and I spent a lot of time together back in those days and the next day she called me with most disturbing news. The young man I was supposed to be on a date with the night before had been in a car accident that ended his life. I was in complete shock. I kept thinking if I had only kept my date with him everything would have been different. He wouldn’t have been with his friends in that car, he would have been with me doing something totally harmless and probably boring. Of course the reverse could also be true, perhaps I could have been in that car too? I remember the long ride to the funeral in the back of my friend’s camper. I remember how awkward it felt to go because I really didn’t know him all that well. I think I mostly went to support my friend who knew him better. We commiserated and pondered along the way. I think we feel pretty invincible when we are young, and until death touches our lives we don’t really get it. Death would touch my life again and yet again, and in much more profound ways a bit later on. Perhaps this first brush prepared me a little. We are not guaranteed any number of days. Life really can end in a split second. We sometimes survive against all odds, and other times seemingly innocuous things can turn out to be quite deadly.
Today I try and live my life with gratitude for each day knowing there is always a chance there may not be a next. I don’t go to bed angry. Every morning I hug and kiss my wife and tell her that I love her. Well that usually happens more than once a day, but it always happens at least once. You never know when a loved one walks out the door whether or not you will ever see them again.
What about you? Have you been touched by death? If so, do you feel differently about life. Maybe this will serve as a writing prompt for your own blog?