When I was 6, someone I loved and thought would be a big part of my life died suddenly. Afterwards, my family splintered, some going one way, others going another. To my 6 year old mind, life was no longer stable, or trustworthy. Death could come at any time. And adults were powerless. Everyone was powerless.
Death became my traveling companion. Never too far but not dominating either. After the death, I started noticing people who walked around in pain, people who lived under bridges and along the freeway. I saw a whole hidden world and I could see and feel what people tried to hide.
Now almost 40 years later, I am grateful for this early education. I never take life for granted. I know that death comes for all of us. And as macabre as that sounds, it comforts me from where I sit now, although it haunted me for years. Now, it spurs me to make life decisions that really matter, to not waste time. Not with a job I hate, or people who don't like me, or waiting until the perfect moment of confidence arrives to take action. My aunt, who also died young, gave me a locket once that said "carpe diem." And even though I was only a teen, I knew exactly what she meant. So how will you, on this fine afternoon, Seize Your Day?
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