Archived Story

Nothing in life should be taken for granted

Published 6:00am Saturday, December 31, 2011

I’ve always heard that you’re never too old to learn a lesson, and I find that statement to be true almost every day.
As 2011 comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting back on the year’s events and the lessons I’ve learned.
One of the biggest lessons that I regrettably had to learn the hard way is that you can’t put a price on the time you spend with the ones you love, and you can’t take for granted that the ones you love will always be there because that fact is never guaranteed.
I am the world’s worst procrastinator. I put everything off until the very last possible second that it can be done.
My life’s motto has unintentionally been something Scarlett O’Hara said in my favorite movie of all time, Gone with the Wind: “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
But what if tomorrow doesn’t come?
On April 27, I had to try to find an answer to that question when I received the news that I had lost one of my best friends that I had growing up.
We were pretty much inseparable in middle school, high school and the couple of years that followed, but we hadn’t seen each other as much after we both got married and after she had her sweet little boy.
We kept in touch and called each other to talk about life and how we needed to get together, but we were busy with our own separate lives and just never could find the time to spend together like we should have.
In April, we actually made plans for her and her son to come to my house one evening in those next couple of weeks, but we didn’t end up having a chance to make that happen because in a matter of seconds on April 27, she was gone.
I miss my friend every day. I think about all the things I would have loved to have told her if I could have seen her one more time.
I’m sure that’s something that any person who has lost a loved one thinks about, but this was a new experience for me.
The only person really close to me that had ever passed away up until that point was my grandfather, but I was three years old when that happened and I don’t really remember it.
This next year, even though I don’t actually do “New Year’s resolutions” per se, I plan on trying to make the most out of the time I have with the ones that I love.
I’m going to try to get a handle on my procrastination — at least in some areas of my life— and stop having the mentality that things can be put off until another day.
And I give this challenge to all of you who are reading this column.
Have a friend you haven’t seen in a while that means a lot to you? Call them.
Go see them.
Have a family member you haven’t spoken to in years?
Ask yourself this question: Is whatever reason we haven’t spoken really important enough to miss out on the valuable time that is passing us by?
Tell the people you love how much they mean to you and do it often. Don’t let opportunities to do good for someone else pass you by.
Remember that something as small as a phone call may seem like an inconsequential gesture to you, but it could mean the whole world to the person who receives it.
I hope you all have a happy and healthy 2012 and that you make the most of the opportunities God gives you this year.

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