A friend's husband died unexpectedly this week. Dave was 46, very fit, ate a vegan diet. He was a beloved father, husband, and friend. He coached Little League baseball and little girls' basketball. He was a handsome man of energy and good humor.
He and my friend were supposed to be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary today. Instead, she's planning his funeral. There is no rhyme or reason to the world sometimes.
Their children are the same ages as mine. I imagine each of our friends is taking a private mental stroll down "If That Were Me" Lane. It is unfathomable. I can't help but think I couldn't be half the things to our girls that Mr. Sandyshoes is to them. I can't teach them what he'll teach them, can't be the role model he is, can't, can't, can't. So much he does, I can't.
But that wouldn't be the point. Our partners are irreplaceable, period, as are we. It would be an unfixable break, an unfillable hole. A little girl is going to grow up saying "my Dad died when I was 8," and it's just dumb luck that it isn't my own little girl. We are, all of us, any given heartbeat away from our lives turned upside down.
Love like there's no tomorrow, people. Yes, it's impossible to sustain that energy, that urgency, through every interaction with our dearest ones, let alone with every other human we encounter. But do keep perspective. Do remember what matters and doesn't. Be good to each other. Plan a long life, sure! - and fill each day of it with words and acts of love, because plans go awry, and all you really have is now.