Sunday, February 12, 2012

Life is too short

by: Joelle Charbonneau

The last couple of months have been a roller coaster ride. I’ve lost two men I thought of as fathers. My grandmother was in the hospital and subsequently diagnosed with dementia. My son has had pneumonia and another friend from theater days suffered an aneurysm. Yeah – things have been a little tricky. And to be completely honest, as good as the professional part of my life has been lately – and there have been some pretty exciting professional moments—I have had a hard time finding my smile.

Until yesterday.

Why? Because my friend who has been in his coma for 4 weeks since having an aneurysm woke up. No one expected him to open his eyes. No one expected him to have brain function. He did. He does. There is a long road in front of him, but he is strong and young and hopefully he will triumph over the other roadblocks to come and lead a wonderful life. For as long as life gives him. Because if there is one thing I have learned in the last couple of months is that there are no guarantees.

Life is far too short. There is never enough time in any day or in any year to do all the things we want to. So we look at the things we wish to do and put them to the side saying that some day we’ll have time. Because we really think we’ll have all the time in the world.

But we’re wrong. Each of us only gets so much time on this earth. We only have so many days with the people we love. We only have so much time to accomplish the things that will make us feel complete. And in a blink of an eye that time can be gone.

Cheery thought. Right?

Actually, I’m not trying to be a downer. In fact, I’m looking for the silver lining in that particular lesson. Often we use the fact that we don’t have enough time to put off the things that we should be doing. You know that person you’ve been meaning to talk to or the family member you’ve lost touch with – go find them. Don’t wait. And that story you keep meaning to write or finish or polish or submit? Do it! Don’t wait for the right time. Because if you wait there might not be time. Life is a funny thing. We think there is always going to be another moment. Another day. Another year. And the reality is that life is short. Don’t put off doing the things that really matter because if you do the time to do those things might never come.

My friend who opened his eyes has a tough road ahead of him, but I guarantee you that as he travels that road he won’t forget to appreciate everyone one of those days. He’s going to be happy for the moments he has and take advantage of them. It is a lesson I hope I continue to remember today, tomorrow and in the months to come. I encourage you to remember it, too.


Sandra Ruttan said...

Such a timely message, especially considering Whitney Houston's death yesterday. You just never know how much time you have left. Glad to hear your friend is doing better.

Abby Fahmi said...

I've had some similar events happen in my life and family, and as I've been following you on Twitter, it makes me feel a little better that we're not alone in our trials. My grandma was recently diagnosed with dementia, too, and just this morning, I said to my husband that I need some good news. I'm using this as a catalyst to push myself to complete my first novel and get moving on new projects. If no one else has good news for me, I'm going to make some of my own.

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

Beautiful post, Joelle!