I’ve been thinking a lot this week about how life can change in an instant. It is cliché but when it happens it pretty much smacks you in the face as a reminder that truly “life can change in an instant.” Sometimes change is gradual, sometimes it seems to take forever. Like meeting a boyfriend. Seemed like it took me forever, but then there he was, staring at me from the computer. Then the dating process was gradual (but not really); the move to Florida seemed pretty quick, unless you take into consideration that I had been trying to move here since 2009 then not so quick. Although these have all been life altering events they’re not the kind I’m thinking about this week.
This week I learned of a tragic death of a good friend’s daughter. Well, good friend is not actually accurate. The father (my friends brother) is good friends with my brother. I am good friends with his sister (the aunt). Nevermind, that part doesn’t matter. It has rocked my world. “My” world. I can’t even fathom their world. I remember at her mother’s funeral, years ago, I lost it and loudly sobbed. In my defense it was my first experience with death and her mother was my favorite person ever. Her mother was everyone’s favorite person. After the shocked look on my friend’s face at my outburst over her mother, she ran to my side to comfort me. It was embarrassing. This week she has once again thought about her friends, letting us all know how she is doing. It helps us. Honestly if I was there with her I would once again be looking for her comfort because I’m grieving for her/them. Isn’t that crazy? We can all only hope to be as gracious and kind as she is in thinking about all of us in her time of overwhelming grief.
I am reminded of something that happened to another friend years ago. His daughter was shot and killed by her husband, who then killed himself, in front of their 4 children. Talk about life changing instants. Weeks later my friend made a comment about how the world was going on after this tragedy. When he looked around he saw people carrying on with their days like nothing happened. How come not everyone’s world has stopped too? It’s got to be surreal.
I have been reflecting on this, this week. And I’m exhausted. And nervous. Life is so freakin fragile.
But you know what else changes lives?
Winning the lottery. I mean seriously it does. Right? Can you just imagine worrying about paying your car payment one day and the next day you could own GM (are they still in business?). Okay it doesn’t happen that often and usually not in anyone’s lifetime or to anyone you know. Horrible tragedies unfortunately happen more often, but still it is a life changing instant. You know I could win the lottery. I’ve been talking about that longer than I talked about moving to Florida. They say you can create your reality. Not sure if that means you can create it outside of your head or you have to live in your head in that reality that they speak of. In any event there is a lot of money to be had this week. Talk about life altering, and yes I know probably not good, but still I’m playing, I’ll take my chances (all this just to be able to quit my job.) I read on CNN.com that it’s more money than some small countries have. So when I win, what I think I’ll do is start my own country. What about that idea for a life’s goal? My own country. Everyone is invited of course. Free Health care. Wonder what I’ll call it. (see how I get carried away?) One thing for sure is it will be in a tropical climate. The temp here has dropped into the 50’s at night and I’m freezing. Zenah reminded me that I lived in Pittsburgh. You know, what’s her point? Dam kids. I’m cold now!! That said, when I say cold I’m also not bundled up and still cold as I would have been up north. If I would wear my parka down here I’d probably be warm enough. Maybe it’s time to pull out the UGGs. I hate the cold. Hate is a strong word I know, but it applies in this scenario.
I have spent most of the first week of this new year crying, exhausted in support, grief and sympathy for my friends across the country. Luckily, at least in my family, we don’t typically expect bad things to happen. I had to call my brother to share the sad news and when I told him I had very very bad news he asked if it was about the Steelers. That makes me laugh out loud. I think that’s somewhat encouraging that we don’t expect the worst but then when the worst happens well then we wish it was about the Steelers.
Life changing events. Let’s hope to keep the bad ones to a minimum this year and look forward to those good ones.
Please keep my friends in your prayers.