A very good friend of mine passed away yesterday.
She was not ill, not battling a devastating disease.
No. Less than two weeks ago when she was leaving her job at the library she tripped and fell. Her hands were full with book bags--no surprise, she was curious about everything--so she was unable to do much to cushion her fall. She feel forward, on her face. Suffered a broken nose, broken jaw and more injuries I cannot even think about.
Her husband was waiting in their vehicle outside. As always, he was picking her up from work. The entire thing took seconds to unfold, and he saw all of it.
She was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery for her jaw and other injuries. She came through fine. A few days later a bit of pnemonia developed. A few days later she had a mild heart attack. And now she is no more.
This woman was an amazing, strong individual. She had been with an abuser earlier in life, with whom she had five kids before finding the strength to just get out and stop it. Raised strict Catholic, she was told she would never marry again, much less find a man who would accept her--a former battered woman--and her gaggle of kids.
They were wrong.
She eventually met a wonderful man, 12 years her junior. They married in 1987 and have been together ever since. They were always unique, always happy, always grateful. People are drawn to them.
My friend reached out to me when she inferred through my writing that I had been with an abuser. This was gutsy of her...we didn't know each other at all. Soon enough we became like sisters. And now she's gone.
I share this because I am quite certain that my friend didn't think that a terrible accident after work ten or so days ago would lead to the end of her life.
None of us have any time guarantees. I say this because I am often guilty of acting like I have piles and piles of time in front of me when in reality I have no assurance of anything other than this moment. And for each one that I have I surely should spend it doing something that lifts me up; thinking thoughts that are positive and sunny; helping where I can and being kind whenever possible...
...I am quite certain none of us would choose to have our final moments or even days spent ruminating about a disordered individual who doesn't even have the capacity to feel, to love, to give anything of value...I am quite certain I wouldn't want my final moments to be spent on someone who took me to the brink of hell, who hurt me like no other, who almost destroyed me and then left the remains behind...
Nope. Not me. Not today. I do not choose that.
Life is a beautiful gift. A bittersweet adventure. A miracle unfolding, truly. And way to short to spend feeling badly about myself based on the opinions/actions/words, what-the-f-ever/ of a PDI who can never, ever change.
Choose you today, too. Please. Choose you one minute at a time. If I can do it, anyone can. And I am more committed now than ever to do so in honor of my friend.