Monday, July 30, 2012

What Really Matters

"The way to love anything is to realize it might be lost."
GK Chesterton
There is nothing like an unexpected death of someone you care about to make your thoughts turn to what really matters.
Today while I was driving home from our week in Fallbrook, Aaron called to tell me that a friend had passed away the day before.
It was a heart attack.
It was sudden.
He was young.
He left behind a wife, and 2 adolescent daughters.
It is heart breaking.

I was pumping gas when Aaron called.
He told me the news and I gasped, "no!"
How can it be that someone with so much life ahead of them is gone?
How can it be that his girls will never hug their daddy again?
How can it be that his wife won't see his smile anymore?
I leaned against the car as tears streamed down my face.
Life is very short.

For the next hour, as I drove the freeways home, I thought about Dave and his family.
I tried to explain it to the kids, but there are times when there are no explanations, and all we can do is pray.
So we did.
We prayed for his girls.
My heart aches for them.

I thought, too, of all the people I love, and how much they matter to me.
I thought about the time I waste everyday complaining about things that are utterly unimportant: crumbs on the floor, piles of dirty laundry, annoying drivers, things that aren't put away, the wild parrots that poop all over my car, how I can never return library books on time, and a host of other equally ridiculous complaints.
What if I stopped spending my energy on those worthless complaints, and instead focused on what really matters?
What if I focus on people?
And what if I tell them they matter to me?

Tonight I went on Dave's Facebook page.
I wanted to see his face, and his smile.
His page was full of messages from people who loved him.
And they told him so.
They told him why they loved him, and how much, and all the wonderful things he was to them.
They told him he mattered.

The tears streamed down my face as I read each message.
And I thought how full Dave's heart would be to read each one.
He would have been tickled to know what an inspiration he was.
And I am sure everyone who wrote wishes they could tell him face to face, instead of on a Facebook page that he will never read.
Why, oh why, do we wait until it's too late to tell someone how very much they matter to us?

It doesn't have to be that way.
Friends, we should say the things now, that we always meant to tell each other.
Because people won't know how much they really matter to us unless we tell them.
It doesn't have to be a big thing.
I wish I had a chance to simply tell Dave, "I've always thought you were the nicest guy."
After all, I didn't know Dave all that well.
He was much more a part of Aaron's life than mine.
But I appreciated the way he always made me feel welcome, his warm smile, his kindness, and especially the impact his life had on my husband.
I bet he would have liked to know that.

I am reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses:
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on to love and good deeds."
Hebrews 10:24
Our words to each other can mean so much.
There are lots of people who really matter to me, in big ways and small.
I'm hoping I'll have the courage to tell them that.
I'm hoping you will, too.
We won't forget you, Dave.

Love from,

1 comment:

This Life said...

Such timely truth. Praying for your friends family.