I read in the paper today about two separate, horrible accidents yesterday claiming the lives of a total of four people on an interstate that me and Emma took to the beach just hours before one of the crashes occurred. A road that me and Emma travel frequently, like so many others that drive that same way to get to work, to meet a friend for lunch, to head out for a long-awaited vacation, to check out the nearest shopping mall or to visit with a loved one. A lump formed in my throat as I read the details spelled out in fine, black ink; a formal, typed letter to us all. A reminder that this fragile little thing called life is such a tremendous gift, one that can be enduring, one that can be fleeting all the same. None of us knowing which we will belong to. So, give your kids an extra squeeze, not just as you tuck them into bed tonight, but at any random moment this afternoon, making it unexpected and meaningful. Call someone you have been thinking of, but errands and appointments and procrastination have continued to get in the way. Spend your time being happy; wake up wanting to be happy, and it will come much easier and more often.
When I couldn’t get yesterday’s events out of my head hours after hearing about it, even while driving to a close-by pool, on a quiet road, on a radiant, clear day, with my daughter sleeping in the backseat, I paused at the red light and snapped a photo of Emma looking so beautiful, so peaceful. She was stunning. And I became overwhelmed, again, at this incredible, but fragile little thing called life. I have looked at this photo several times since taking it and it’s served as an important, brief reminder each and every time.