My daughter-in-law ran a half marathon a couple of weeks ago, a really tough one in the heat at Virginia Beach. Partway into the race, she and her running partner turned the corner and saw an apparently fit man who’d collapsed. He was being given CPR, EMTs were on their way as was an ambulance, but it was not enough. He died.
My DIL wrote a very moving post about that event, the thoughts that went through her head when she saw him, and her struggle both that day and the next week to make sense of something so random and arbitrary.
Years ago I either read or heard in a sermon (don’t recall now which it was) something that made sense to me. Basically, the author or speaker said, until we come to terms with the facts of our deaths, we’ll have a hard time making sense of our lives. I took that to mean that if I want to live a purposeful life, and feel as though at the end of it all I spent my life doing things that matter to me, then I need to be deliberate in what I do and how I live.
As another friend of mine posted today (and I’m paraphrasing), you just don’t know if today’s the day you’re on the wrong plane or in the wrong building. I think J would agree – she’s comforted by her faith, and she’s aware now in a different way that yes, life is fragile and arbitrary. We don’t know when the end comes. Better to live deliberately and to enjoy the moments we do have.
I have a tattoo of a sun face. I got it in 1999 as I came out of a particularly dark time in my life. That tattoo was a permanent, visible commitment to myself that I didn't have to live in a mud puddle or stick around with negative, emotional vampires. About five or six years ago, I got it recolored; I want it to stay vivid. I always want to remember that commitment and even more I want to live it.