The call came. A friend died. It was unexpected. Our friend had been living with cancer for several years but was managing well. We’re not sure what happened. There was an accident.  A head injury. Clots formed. After release from the hospital, all seemed fine. Then pain, clots, more treatment. All seemed to improve, until cardiac arrest stopped him in his tracks. Gone in a moment. A family left behind to pick up the pieces.

I am haunted by the sequence of how it came to be; the what ifs roll through my head at night. There may be many factors involved in my friend’s death; cancer treatment compromises the body in every way. A traumatic accident is a hammer to the nail. But still.

I was shaken again- yet again– with the recent synagogue shooting in California. A woman was murdered in front of her husband and daughter in a house of faith. Fear for the growing hate creeping around the world and the sudden violence leave us on edge. It’s another reminder that life can change in an instant.

I am reminded again that every moment counts. Petty grievances that seem important today mean nothing on a short leash of time. Be less wistful about what could have been and more wishful about what can be and pursue those dreams. Those who lost their lives will probably remind you to stop bemoaning lost opportunities. Create new ones while you have the time, ability and resources.

Don’t let others’ criticisms and judgments stand in the way of you pursuing your goals and dreams. They may be envious which is not your problem. Stick to your guns; hold your head high and trot on with confidence.

Never fret about growing old. You have been given the gift of more time. How lucky you are!

Life can turn on a dime; treasure each day. Time is priceless.

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