An Evanescent Life


Life is fleeting.

We live our lives day in and day out. We go through the motions. We survive. We get our chores done. We go to work. We drive all over the place. We pay our bills. We drag our tired bodies around, complaining about the same old things. We manage our children and their behavior, wishing the day away til we do it all over again the next day.

We ask the socially acceptable questions and give the politically correct answers. We bump into each other. But we often don’t see each other. We don’t see ourselves. We miss the point.

It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane. To get bogged down by the daily tasks and the busyness of life. Sometimes we just tread water until something happens that pulls us under, forcing us to fight our way back to the surface and take our next breath.

This morning, my family lost a very dear soul. A mother. A wife. A friend. A beautiful woman of strength with a heart of gold and the soul of an angel. The center and core of her family.

She fought a hard fight of liver disease (no fault of her own) for the last several years and today, the Lord called her home. No matter what the circumstances of death are, I don’t think we are ever fully prepared for what follows.

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, … And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” ~Lemony Snicket

When my brother passed away in 2009, my family and I discussed the strangeness of someone being here one minute, and literally, in the next minute, with the next breath, they’re gone. Life just ends. We live our whole lives fighting, loving, living; and suddenly, it all just stops.

Thankfully, it only stops for those of us left on this side of heaven. For the one we lost, life is just beginning. But that doesn’t take away the pain we feel down here. The ache of losing the ones we love is too much to bare all at once. It’s why we go through the stages of grief and why that process never truly ends. If we felt it all and understood it all at once, I think it would overtake us.

There’s so many things I could say about death, loss and pain. But right now, all I want to say is this.

Live.

Live each day to the fullest. Appreciate life for what it is, knowing that although this life is hard, it’s not the end. We never know what tomorrow holds or how much time we will be gifted on this earth. Don’t waste it hating what’s in front of you. It’s all a temporary gift. Live in the moment and cherish each one you have.

Give.

Give your heart to those you love. Give your time to others and to your family. You can’t take anything with you when you leave this life, so give as much of yourself as you can, without losing yourself in the process.

Love.

Love with your whole heart. Even if it means you get hurt. Even if people don’t reciprocate that love, even if they don’t fully see you, even if they take advantage of your heart. Love with all you have. God created us to love one another. Let your heart be busted open for others and pour it into those you love. 

Today my heart bled just a little more. It bled for my family. For my cousins who lost their mother way too soon. For her granddaughter she will never get to know. For her husband who’s heart was wrapped in her hands most of his life. For all of us who loved her.

My heart bled remembering my brother and the pain I felt when we lost him. A pain that never gets any duller and carries the same sting today as it did 5 years ago.

It bled thinking of what it would be like to lose my own mother, or what would happen to my sons if they lost me.

We are all just human. Just flesh and bones. We think we’re invincible, but we’re not. We’re all just one tragic event away from our last breath, and we never know when that will be.

Today, I held my boys a little closer. We read a few extra bedtime stories. My love deepened and my heart expanded. My babies are growing and life is changing. It’s happening whether I enjoy it or complain it away.

So I want to enjoy it. I’m going to live as fully as I can with the life God has given me. It’s not all going to be fun. It’s not all perfect. I won’t love every moment. But I’m certainly going to try to make the best of it. I will give all I have to give and love til I take my last breath. I will pour my heart into my sons and my family so that when my day comes and my heart beats it’s final pulse, nothing will be left to die inside me. It will all live on in those I leave behind.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

“We can’t plan life. All we can do is be available for it.” Lauryn Hill