During the month of September, a dear friend of mine lost her husband suddenly in an accident. The tragedy was a shock to everyone.
This accident was sudden and certainly unexpected. It drove home the realization that you just don't know when a loved one is no longer going to be with you. We sometimes take our love ones for granted, and we expect that they will be with us forever. However, as we all know, life does not work that way and sometimes we get a wake up call that shocks us and makes us stand back and realize how short life is.
In consoling her, I tried to imagine if I was in her shoes how would I feel. It was impossible to imagine what she was going through. What words do I say to help her?
Sometimes words just can not express our feelings. Sometimes our actions are much more meaningful than words. A hug can sometimes express more than our words will ever express. Sometimes, just being there to listen is more meaningful and helpful to people.
A SECOND WAKE UP CALL
As I was leaving the funeral parlor, I ran into a Marilyn. (Marilyn has been a true friend to me over the years. She is one of those friends who is with you in the good times and is always by your side in the bad times. She has a sense of humor that makes everyone laugh and she makes everyone feel at ease.) We chit chatted for a few moments, and then she asked me how my job was. So I started talking and talking and talking (am sure she wished she had never asked, ha) I was having a stressful week with my job and I was telling her all the issues and how I was feeling. She listened to me as I was raving about my frustrations, then without saying a word, she took her hands and placed them on my face, and said to me, "But at least you had a day."
The touch of her hands on my cheeks, the calmness in her voice, and the words she spoke, "BUT AT LEAST YOU HAD A DAY", hit me like a ton of bricks. All the frustrations, all the stress that was building up inside of me - came to a complete stop.
Since that day, when I start feeling stressed, I remind myself of Marilyn's words - but at least I had a day! Things could be a lot worse, the stress of the situation always could be worse, but I am alive and I have a lot to be thankful for - so I shall not waste my days with stress and frustrations - Life is too short!
-- Catherine Pulsifer