What Really Matters

*NOTE: I thought I’d repost something I wrote years ago, having been reminded by what’s currently been happening here…

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WHAT REALLY MATTERS

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” Regardless of race, gender, beliefs and religion, we all end up the way we begin. It is, however, the “to” that matters the most, that space between yesterday and tomorrow – TODAY. How do you live your life today? How many lives have you touched? Do you fail and sulk, or do you fail and still manage to love life? Are you a humble winner, or are you a winner in need of a lesson in humility?

Two people reminded me of the importance of “today”.

One was someone I had known almost all my life but never really met. Five years of battling cancer finally caught up with her. There was no getting around it. Death is a painful process for both the grieving and the one they lose, no matter how prepared they think they are. Yet, she did more than prepare. She committed the last years of her life not to bitterness but to better-ness, to a life with more meaning. She held her own faith in her heart and gave love and hope and maybe faith again to those who needed them. She was not selfish and gave help even to people she did not know.

The other one was someone who, for a brief time, touched my life in his own, unknowing way. He was a classmate in high school, Freshman year, and left after the second. He was killed recently…The other day, I cut out an article about him. At first, I found it a bit funny – funny in a strange way – that the only chance I got to learn more about him again was through an article in the papers about his death. There, loved ones and friends recounted how his life had been. And somehow, I smiled, because at least, he had been a good person to merit the admiration and adoration of many people. It’s just a pity. He would’ve made it to our high school reunion last December. Maybe he would’ve come.

They are just examples of people who made a difference, and there in lies the difference – What you do TODAY. I am not sure what difference I, myself, can make. I just know I will try.