I must have written these thoughts a million times, or wanted to. But here for the one millionth time, I beg us all not to count on being able to say nice things or take nice walks or eat a damned hot dog or call an old friend or patch up an old sore spot or stay up to see a sunrise or go to bed to dream of any of the above tomorrow.
You have to do it today.
I love people, you know. And I tend to meet a lot of them, which is why Facebook is so perfect for people like me. I understand if it's not your cup o' tea. It takes every kind of people.
Not long ago, I "met" a fascinating woman named Holly from New Jersey on line. I had been yakking about an old teacher of mine, and Holly had come across the estate of someone who may or may not have been the same person. What matters is that a new friendship was born, and through that person I met a friend of hers, a lady of great wit and charm who had written a children's book and was raising a son as a single mom. Probably because my inner 8-year old refuses all offers to suppress himself, I found a lot to talk about with these two wonderful women, and we commented on each other's statuses, and shared photos and news clips that we found amusing. We'll call this second new friend "T."
Monday morning began as usual here. I got up, fried an egg and ate my homemade muesli, and walked down Facebook Avenue while the morning news chattered away. Looking at Facebook, I saw that other friends of "T" were posting a lot of pictures of her and her son, and I thought that maybe birthday greetings were in order, so I went to her page...
Went to her page to find, not birthday messages, but eulogies. My merciful God, what happened? And I read on, to find that my friend and her son had been taken in a house fire some eight hours earlier. I messaged Holly and we spoke comforting thoughts and I sit here now, typing, bereft, because once again a fundamental lesson is right in front of us and at the risk of sounding like Jacob Marley or something, I beseech us all to hug the people we love, and love the people you hug. It's really that simple, and I'm not better than the next person at remembering it. Two weeks from new, two centuries from now, it's not going to matter whether or not your lawn looked perfect or you lost those last three lbs. or your hair came out looking just so. What will matter is whether or not you made someone feel good. Or, frankly, whether you made yourself feel good. Yup, we're responsible for that, too.
And what a nice touch. After I talked with my friend and she had so many words of consolation, I went back to main FB, and these were the first two images I saw:
Carpe Diem. Seize the day. You won't be sorry.