As I was writing my previous post, all I could think about was the news I received this morning that my neighbor passed away last night. She has been fighting cancer for some time and at one point thought she had it beat. Not very long ago they discovered it was back and very advanced. As she has been losing this battle over the last couple of weeks I have reflected often on my blessings. I would think of her as I was spreading mulch. I would think about the fact that at that moment mulch was so important to me. But in her life mulch would be so very unimportant. I would think of her and her children as I was contemplating our summer recreation program schedule. I would think about the fact that while my children were anticipating summer and all its pleasures, her children were thinking about losing their Mom. I would think about her as Lincoln and I discussed our summer plans. I would think about the fact that while Lincoln was looking at a week this summer without me here, her husband was looking at the whole summer and the rest of his life without his wife.
I don't know them. They live a couple houses away behind us, but I ache for them and the loneliness and heartache they are feeling, the helplessness that frustrates them and the years of emptiness ahead of them. I'm grateful for the knowledge I have that I can and will be with my family forever. I hope they believe the same. I am grateful for each day I have to be with my family. I am grateful to hear the laughter of my children, feel the kisses of my husband, see the beauty of their faces.
It is a firm reminder not to take my time with my family for granted.