Monday, August 8, 2011

A Vapor

I heard a verse last week that I have never heard before -

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14

If I had to sum up this year, I would say this verse does an excellent job. As far as life lessons go, I have definitely been reminded that we are all just a vapor.

In April I said goodbye to someone that I admired and respected very much. He was a voice of reason, a confidant, a counselor, and a mentor. He was someone who talked me down off the ledge more than once and put up with way more nonsense than his paycheck was worth. He really was the kind of person you wanted to be when you grow up. And just like that he was gone and I miss him. Every day.

Last week a friend, you know the kind of friend you have known so long you don't remember a time in your life when you weren't friends, called to tell me her brother had died. Just like that - here today and gone the next. I was shocked. I grew up with these people. Her brother, who was a year younger than me, was gone. I thought about our childhood days and the memories we had shared. I thought about my friend and her parents and I prayed for God to give them mercy and to provide them with comfort during this time.

I also selfishly prayed that I never have to walk in her parents' shoes. I am reminded of sickness, and even death every time I go to the doctor. It is the part I hate and dread the most. I can handle the needle sticks, the icky medicine, the endless tests, but the one thing I can never get used to is seeing a parent wheeling their sick child down a hall or watching them wait for their name to be called at the lab. It breaks my heart and every time I close my eyes and pray I am never in that situation. I truly cannot imagine.

But, the truth and the reality is that life is like a vapor. We are all here one minute and gone the next. I think of my friend and can hear him laugh and sometimes I even think I can see him coming down the hall at work. I am reminded that it's not his death that I should focus on, but his wisdom and warmth he gave during his life that I should remember. I hope my friend and her parents can find a way to do the same. I have also learned to focus on what is really important in my life and to try not to get caught up in the things that don't matter.

On a much lighter note, I also decided that maybe I need to provide some instructions in case I am ever, you know, here today and gone tomorrow. Seriously, I told Adam if he had to make the plans then my final farewell would be a hot mess. Plus, since I didn't really get the wedding of my dreams, he at least owes it to me to send me off with a grand affair. I also thought I may even go ahead and write up the obit. You know if there ever was a time to brag on yourself, I dare say this would be it. Seize the moment people.

So, I am kind of thinking of something along these lines - She is survived by the luckiest man on Earth... I think Adam would agree.

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