None of us are going to leave this planet alive. I know it’s obvious. But sometimes we need a reminder that the person we are today may be the legacy we leave in a few hours.
My dad’s best friend passed away yesterday–very unexpectedly. He was hiking a mountain with his grandkids, sat down, said his heart was racing, slumped over, fell, and died. Just like that. It was over. There was no cause for concern before the trip. He was in great physical shape. His doctor gave him a clean bill of health. It was just his time to meet his Maker.
I have known this man since I was very young. His daughter was my age. We were friends. I really liked being with Tiffany. She was kind, caring, and very loving. We went to high school together. She was just such a tender person. And I felt loved by her. She died of cancer about 20 years ago–a young mother and wife.
Tiffany and her father have no doubt had an incredible reunion in heaven. Their relationship was pure and respectful before she left. Her father loved her very much. Whenever he would see me when I would visit my parents after getting married, he would tell me that I reminded him of his Tiffany–and he would smile wide.
This experience is causing me a lot of introspection. This man was a very good man. You could feel it, you could see it. He was adored by his wife and especially by his grandchildren. My own father was tremendously blessed by this man and their friendship. He was a tremendous strength to my father for years and years.
I understand very well how easy it is to let petty grievances get in the way of developing strong bonds with those we care about–or those we should care about. I know that often people with mental illness use the illness as an excuse to belittle, find fault, be angry, etc… And this just deepens the wounds that add to the illness because then guilt and shame enter the picture.
I invite you to reach out to one person in your life that needs an apology or a word of approval. Go first. How you are living your life right now matters. A lot. Cleaning up the relationships in your life will make a tremendous impact on your mental health. I know because I’ve gone first. Let’s create a legacy like my father’s friend–because we just do not know when it may be our last day.
It matters. Your life matters.