As I got into the car last Saturday to head to the airport from the Florida Homeschool Conference, I got a text from my mom letting me know that one of my sister’s and brother-in-law’s really close friends had died in a tragic accident.
While I didn’t personally know this couple, my heart has hurt so much for this young wife and mom of four who lost her husband so unexpectedly and tragically. I cannot imagine the pain, the shock, the anguish, the gaping hole left by her husband’s death.
My mom told me today that his funeral on Wednesday was one of the most meaningful services she’d ever attended. Why? Because this man had lived wholeheartedly embracing every moment of life.
He had almost died from a serious illness a few years before. This illness took his eyesight, but instead of lamenting the fact that he had lost his sight, he spent the last few years of his life living every day to the fullest — pouring himself into people and loving people well.
One of my dear friends who just recently had surgery to remove part of her tongue and lymph nodes in an effort to beat her throat cancer told me (my paraphrase), “You can’t look death in the face and not be changed. You stop worrying about petty things. You stop letting misunderstandings and differences hurt relationships. And you start loving people well. Because you don’t know how many days you have left on this earth and you don’t want to waste a single one.”
Her example of living each day to its fullest has challenged me deeply. And it’s convicted me of how often I let busyness get in the way of loving well.
Moving to Tennessee was a major milestone for me. I drew a line in the sand and said, “From here on out, I want to wholeheartedly embrace the life God has given me. I’ve spent too many years stuffing problems under the rug instead of dealing with them in a healthy way. I’ve spent too many years of my life chasing productivity instead of making people and community a priority. I’ve spent too many years trying to please people instead of being who God has called me to be.”
It’s been a month of fully embracing life and I wouldn’t go back to my former self for anything. I’ve made deep relationships. I’ve become more spontaneous. I’ve laughed harder than I have in ages. And I’ve discovered that people are completely okay with my sometimes-messy, very imperfect self.
It’s been a beautiful journey and it’s only begun. Will you join me? Let’s fully embrace today… because we don’t know if there is a tomorrow.
P.S. Would you please join me in praying for this dear woman who has lost her husband and these four young children who have lost their daddy? If you want to do something to help this woman and her four children out practically or financially, please email me (crystal @ moneysavingmom.com) and I’ll share some specific ways you can help them out.
I’d also like ask for prayer for my sister, Gretchen, and her husband, as you can probably imagine how difficult this has been for them, too. She does a lot to make MoneySavingMom.com what it is — running the Stores Deals section and sharing her shopping trips and weekly menu plans — and I’d love it if we could all come around her and support her in this time of grief. If you’d like to send a note to her to let her know you’re praying for her, you can email it to me, as well (crystal @ moneysavingmom.com) and I’ll make sure she gets it. Thank you all so very much!