Monday, October 13, 2008

Dance like no one is watching.


I love that expression. Draws so many images and ideas. But none as important as it's most predominant message, living for today. And loving for today.

We have had our share of grief and loss. Maybe more than our share, but still less than others. Each time we stand at a funeral, or console a friend, or simply mourn a passing, we say the same things..."You see, that's why we should be thankful for everything and everyone we have." And then the next week you are once again bickering with your lover, and rolling over to put sleep between you and the issue.

Last week, a family in our neighborhood found real tragedy...the death of a husband, the death of a Daddy, at only age 40. Aneurysm, in front of his family, and he was gone. We didn't know the couple, we probably had never even seen them at a neighborhood gathering, but my wife cried. She and I think about things on different levels most days, but this we both saw the sadness in, and the familiarity. She made them dinner the day of the funeral, delivered it, came home, and cried again.

40 year old Daddy, husband, father of two.

So I am sorry to darken your screen on a Monday morning, but I am thinking, and I want to encourage you to do the same.

Are you loving with your whole being? Are you leaving anything on the table? Are you giving everything of yourself to those in your life who have chosen you, for life? Or are you holding something back?

This year I lost a friend to drugs, and a cousin to cancer. My mother's husband made an unsettling observation to me one day...he pointed out that the older you got, and the more people you know, at some point they just start dropping at the rate of one a month. Are we beginning to see the rumblings of our landslide?

And if so, isn't it time to give it your all?

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31 comments:

Bonnie said...

I didn't know her, but her grandmother is one of my friends, her grandfather is on my CEO board, her aunt is my secretary.

A six week old died from SIDS.

It was after I bought my house is when I gave everyone strict instructions to not mourn my death but celebrate my life when I go because death is unavoidable.

Beadiful Things said...

Food for thought, Jay. Especially after the weekend I had. Thanks for that.

ParentingPink said...

This is a wonderful post. Recently, we had the death of a child in our extended family and upon attending the funeral I had similar thoughts.

http://parentingpink.com/blog/2008/10/04/in-loving-memory/

It really has changed my outlook on life and I cherish and value my family and friends so much more today than I did yesterday. Thanks for the thoughtful reminder.

AndreAnna said...

God, Bonnie's comment just punched me in the gut.

Because of my strong empathy for people, I don't watch the news, any sad television programming, or read most stories in the paper. My heart just can't hand;e tragedy. If I read them all, I'd cry for days.

My thought are with your neighbor and her family. I'm not a religious person so I don't "pray" but I think really hard and send the best energy I can to the people in my mind. Maybe it doesn't work and maybe it does. I guess like faith in anything, part of you has to believe it does, because otherwise, why bother having it?

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I try to keep this in mind as I go about my day. Especially when the kids are being over the top annoying.

Jenni Jiggety said...

It's hard not to get caught up in the daily grind...it's too easy to forget how lucky we are for what we have every day...

Debateur said...

For many reasons I am glad that I stumbled upon your post this morning. Thanks for writing that.

Eudea-Mamia said...

Thanks for that Jay. I try desperately every day to do this, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Shame on me for letting it.

Have a great day everyone.

Em

Miranda said...

We just learned that our associate pastor's SIL died from a very unexpected stroke. She was about 30 and had 2 kids under the age of 3. I just can't even imagine. I cried for the family and the kids.

It's very easy to get caught up in just every day life and the things that bug us. I hope that when I die, that my kids and my husband aren't left with any doubts as to how I felt about them. I want them to have good memories of me.

Kristina P. said...

I get anxiety about something happening to Adam. I realized that I can't let it consume me, yet, I don't think that we are doing all the things I want to do, and living life to the fullest.

Thanks for the reminder, Jay.

The Mom said...

I'm sorry about your neighbor....gave me the chills. Live every day!!

ali said...

Something like that definitely makes you stop and think. Great post, Jay.

Rowboat said...

this is sweet. it almost made me cry. its definitely good to have something remind me to be grateful for the people in my life. i don't know how i would handle it if someone closed to me died. i can't even bear to think about it.

Clare said...

WONDERFUL post, sad, but thank you for sharing and making us be thankful for what we have!!

Kori said...

What a post. Our family has taken on the task of living to make memories everyday so when he is gone we will always remember. Things happen that we can't control but we still continue to love unconditionally and take each day as it is... a gift.

Katie said...

Greetings from Charleston. Just stumbled across your blog and appreciate the not so subtle reminder that this day and everyday we get after it is so precious....

Oregon Elkhorns said...

Jay, Thanks for the reminder. I wrote this last year as we were dealing with some pretty heavy stuff with our 4yr old son. He is ok now thankfully.

A Day Earlier Than Planned

Life can happen a day early.
Unexpectedly or not.
Never give up the chance to give a compliment,
a hug or kiss, say thank you, Pay it forward, or say I love you, a day early.
It may help you breathe easier because you lived, a day earlier than planned.

TE 2008

Good N Crazy said...

I feel a bad 'mormon genre' song coming on...

And I quote:
"Are you giving the least to those who matter most?"--Micheal McLean

Sorry for the loss of your friends. You've reminded me that we just found out about an old friend back East whose daughter died suddenly at a very young age heart attack? They don't even know. What do you send for something like that? Flowers? chocolate? What!?

Kristen Zirkle said...

We are bringing dinner tomorrow and I am making Brent do it because I know I will just cry the whole walk over.

Christina said...

Your words are so true. Its a lesson we all need to keep close to our hearts.

Whitney R said...

Very very sad.

A story very similar to that happend here two weeks ago.

A wife and husband were out for a walk and he was hit by a car and killed. Their oldest is 21 and their youngest is in Jr. High. Very very sad.

I was thinking about that the other day, though. Living every day for now. And sometimes I feel like I can't wait until school is over and I can start a family. But I need to focus on now and life with the two of us. I'm trying to be better :)

Thanks for a gentle reminder.

Jillene said...

WOW--thanks for that!! I think I tend to take thing for granted too often. I need to stop and smell the roses and dance like no one is watching more often!! Thanks for the reminder!!

Momisodes said...

Thank you for the reminder, Jay.

Something similar happened to a co-worker years ago. He was in his mid-late 30's. A triathlete. Passed away the same way as your neighbor. You just never know.

Every day is truly precious.

steenky bee said...

This was thought provoking and needed for me today. I can't say that I never take anything for granted, but kids, they'll make you stop and do a lot of soul searching. My children have given me many many gifts, but none so much as the ability to live in the moment. I can have a dirty house, second day hair, but I can't have another moment with them or my wonderful husband. My thoughts are with you and your neighbors. Thanks for posting this.

Cheryl said...

I value every single day. My parents both passed away over the past few years. My sister and brother are busy, busy, busy being corporate go-getters and they don't have time to enjoy the little things because they are going after the big things. I don't miss a thing with my family. I take the time to smile at people I barely know. Sounds a little goodie-goodie but a smile goes a long way.

Life is short...it's never perfect, but it's short. Never take anyone or anything for granted.

GREAT post

Jenn P. said...

I am so sorry about all of that! That is such a wonderful saying, "Dance like there is no tomorrow".

mimi11460 said...

It is sad to know people lost their live because of the thought that he left someone very young but then death comes like a theft and no one can't prevent it from coming. Only God knows..

Hollie said...

Thanks for this post Jay. I needed to hear it.

Thanks for putting things into perspective.

"Count your blessings, name them one by one..." Reminds me of that song.

Wendyburd1 said...

It IS time. Look at this one family I know. The ex-bishop of a neighboring ward died last year. He was like 50 ,maybe. I had known him my entire life, he married Melanee, one of the daughters of my parents closest friends from church. So when Kevin died it was very...difficult, very surreal. He was SO alive, he was crazy and cool! And he used to volunteer at Girls' Camp, and retired when his youngest was done...he had 4 daughters. His oldest Leah was pregnant with his second grandchild when he died of cancer. She named him Kevin.
This past summer, Kevin's family suffered another major blow.Melanee's sister Litzie, lost her two year old son, Joshie. He ended up having a serious condition, and died suddenly. The funeral at the church was so...scary. I had never been to a child's funeral, and hope I never have to again. The stories and songs for him were amazing, but the loss was so HUGE. For such a tiny little blonde-headed smiley boy...he made an enormous effect. All through the funeral though...I had this strong feeling...I could SEE Kevin with Joshie in his arms, I knew that Kevin was there with him...and would protect him until he was with his family again. Their losses stun me. And they were so brave...sisters who had lost so much, strong for eachother. And they know, they still have so much to live for. Melanee and her 4 girls and 3 grand-children now. Litzee and her 2 oldest children and husband. They still live their lives...knowing each moment is precious.I don't know. Your story made me think of this one.

Deb said...

i couldn't comment yesterday because i was in such a mood and mad at my entire family, but your words stayed with me and today i am feeling much better. thanks! oh, and hope little miss puker is feeling better.

Rachel said...

Wow -- that poor family.

Excellent post, no matter how sad the subject -- I need this reminder daily.

posthumous pointer
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson