Take a Minute

When the LOML and I travelled to New York City last month, we went to St. Paul’s Chapel at Ground Zero. As I walked through the displays honoring the recovery effort after September 11th, I cried and cried and cried. I didn’t know anyone who died in the attacks, so my tears weren’t from a personal loss. I grieved for everyone’s pain and our nation’s sorrow. I just couldn’t stop crying.

As I cried, I vowed to keep myself focused on what I know is true: people matter. Family and friends are priceless and can be gone in an instant. I know this, but I easily forget. I promised to make sure I kept this in the front of my brain to honor everyone who died that day.

And then I came home from New York. School started. Life got busy and hectic and scheduled and crunched and frantic.

This morning I got another reminder of what matters. This time it’s personal.

A kind, generous, talented man I admire as a wonderful father, grandfather, HUMAN is going to welcome Hospice into his home to help him make his exit from our world. He has fought an honorable fight with numerous health issues and he just can’t fight anymore. His diseases won. It’s time.

I just hung up the phone after hearing this news from my friend. It is her Father that is preparing to leave us. So she is preparing as well. She is definitely her Father’s daughter: gifted, kind, quietly-powerful and solid as a rock. I admire the heck out of this woman. We have been friends for decades and I am at a loss for what to do for her. As usual, she is steadfast and I am a mess.

And I’m crying again.

is all you need.

Please do this for me today to honor my friends: take a deep breath, slow down, look at the people around you that you love more than anything else on this planet and tell them they matter. Tell them they mean the world to you. Tell them you love them. 

Mean it.

I promise I will do the same.

Blessings to you and yours.

Comments (7)

  1. Jmac

    Beautiful Eileen….family and friends are so important. My brother passed away 5 years ago and I think of him every day and miss him even more. I try to be a good person so that I have no regrets with anyone. Zero regrets with my brother and I am so proud of that. My family means the world to me….and you inspire me….

  2. LiHD Family 12

    Beautifully written. I am sorry for your sorrow and for your dear friend. As steadfast as she may seem and as a mess that you may feel, I know that when the time comes you will be her rock, and even more imortant, a rock not afraid to show her feelings or share her love.

  3. debbie pelletier

    My dad died 2 years ago this month, with the help of Hospice at the end of his journey. They are wonderful people, and your friend’s dad will be well taken care of, plus they will comfort her too! Yes, I agree, take a minute, comfort a friend…we never know how long we have with those we love.

  4. Kat Gordon

    Just hours ago, before reading this post, I told my husband how very deeply I love him. I had tears in my eyes. We’ve been married for 16 years and have a flurry of kids, home, work to distract us from the choice we made in selecting one another as lifemates. I don’t say it often enough to him, but your post made me glad I spoke my love aloud today.

  5. Heather Weissel

    Thank you Eileen for this beautiful reminder. Life is indeed unpredictable, as we both know too well. I love you and your amazing family and am so grateful for the gift of your friendship. I’ll be thinking of (and thanking) you when I hug all my family members a little extra this Sunday when we are together :)

  6. Rana Kory

    Thank you for the reminder.

  7. Teresa Whitesel Navarro

    Mom and Dad died 9 months apart and it shook me to my core, but as time passes I got stronger and more compassionate. I will never be the same, but that is ok…I just try to keep what they taught me in mind. They were both teacher so not only were they great parents, but they inspired so many people. Their lives had great meaning and I’m just trying to keep up! We have today and the connections we make. We lost a friend to cancer this week and it reminds me to hug my kids more and stop obsessing about the housework. Thanks for keeping what matters at the forefront.


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