For a moment

For a moment,
Before I’m fully awake
With eyes still closed
Mind still lingering in dreams…
You’re still here.

I can almost hear your voice nearby
Your laughter echoing down the hall
Footsteps making the floor creak
And the promise of a hug in the air.
But when I open my eyes
And come fully awake…
You’re not here.

How tempting it is
To squeeze my eyes shut
Bury my head beneath the covers
And refuse to accept the reality without you…
I can’t do that.

The world needs me
Little ones depend on me
They need to hear my voice
Feel my hugs
Share my smiles and echo my laughter.
So I rise…
And face another day without you.

I am blessed to have this day
This day and all the days that follow.
Must fill my life with love
Live it to the fullest.
That’s what you want me to do
It is what you expect of me…
To honor your life and spirit.

Though I can no longer touch you
I still feel you.
You’re the breeze cooling my skin
The moon shining in the night sky
Hawks circling above the treetops
Butterflies skimming among the flowers
The brightest rainbow after the darkest storm.
In all of that, I see you…
And know that I’m not alone.

For a moment
I think I hear your voice
The words you speak
Bring tears to my eyes.
A promise of “I love you.”
The reassurance that
“You are strong.”

You know I’m strong
When I can’t see it myself
And that’s enough
It has to be enough
For me to keep going
Welcoming every dawn
Cherishing those I love
Helping you to live on
For this moment…
And forever.

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Life is Short, Fill it Up!

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Today I received a very sad reminder of just how short life is. A childhood friend of mine passed away yesterday unexpectedly and his family and friends are stunned. He and I grew up on the same street and a lot of my childhood memories contain him. He was a great person and a pro at making people laugh. I can’t ever remember seeing him mad or sad though I’m sure there were times when he was. We grew apart through the years but I always considered him a friend.

The loss of my friend proves that life is shorter than we realize. We only have today, tomorrow is never guaranteed. Fill your days with happiness, laughter and the ones you love because everything can change in an instant. Don’t waste your time on hurtful words and negative feelings aimed at those you love. Thinking that you always have tomorrow to make amends is unwise. Every single day is a blessing! Grab it, fill it, cherish it!

No matter how things were when someone you love passes, it’s important to believe that in their life beyond, they don’t hold grudges. Our lost loved ones don’t want us living with regret and guilt, they want us to remember all the happy times.

Having lost many loved ones including my beloved father, I know that it’s sometimes a challenge to focus on the positive. I have days when all I can think of is how unfair it is that my father isn’t here with me anymore. That I didn’t hug him harder the last time I saw him, that I never took the time to ask him how to use his camera and so much more! But one thing I know for sure is that he knew how much I loved him every single moment of his life. My father’s love lives on eternally and I’m grateful I had him for as long as I did.

So when I say life is short, fill it up! I don’t mean fill it with endless running about and the crazy hectic pace of life. Fill it with what makes you happy. This evening I sat out in the yard with my daughters and we watched the clouds roll by. I walked to the edge of the back field and watched butterflies, dragonflies and birds fly around and was reminded that the rhythm of life never stops. Time moves onward. The spirits of the ones we love are carried on the wind, lifted by fluttering wings and cherished within the hearts of those they left behind.