Aug 10, 2013

For Britt and Connie

It is a difficult gift to accept. 

It’s a gift that initially makes you sad, not just everyday sad, but the type of sad you can taste, the type of sad you feel in your stomach or chest, or both.  

It's a gift that does not come often and cannot be delivered by Fed Ex or UPS.

I’ve gotten this gift twice in recent times. The news of both came via social media updates which added to the surreal anguish of learning that two people who I greatly value in my life died at the ages of 46 and 49.  Two wonderful friends, amazing individuals who made a significant difference in the world and in the lives of family, friends, co-workers and yes, in the lives of the animals they so dearly loved.  

Their gift is complicated and it’s constant. Their impressions on my life, the legacy of their friendship, I will never forget. Both have emboldened a billboard in my mind’s eye that simply reads:  “Everyday matters."  

Yes.............that simple yet poignant message of worth and merit however fashioned in our lives, many times losing focus and intensity as we hurry, plan and prioritize. My friends Britt and Connie don’t want me to ever forget.

Both of these ladies have given me the gift of recognition and celebration.  I am reminded by them that  everyday is when you awake, when you plant your feet on the ground and for a moment recognize and celebrate you are alive and capable of good, capable of love, capable of friendship. Everyday this gift and celebration is possible.

Everyday is when you prioritize even if only a tiny bit, those you love, what you love, your passions, your interest, your dreams, your life’s calling. Not what you have to do, what you love to do.

Everyday is when gratitude and grace are on the menu; main dish, side dish, appetizer, it doesn’t matter, ensure your everyday is making a choice for both.  

I see the billboard when I close my eyes….. EVERYDAY MATTERS.  

I can trace the outline of each letter.  I know that the vowels E and A make up part of these simple words and that these vowels are also the initials of my name.

Connie painted her version of the billboard in bright colors, lots of yellows and orange, the font orderly, Calibri or Arial. 

Britt’s version is carnival, with flashing neon lights, the font, Jokerman for sure.

While I cannot be 100% sure that everyday when I wake up I will take the 2 or 3 or 5 minutes to recognize and celebrate the gift of life; I promise that I will make every effort to live the words, to live the billboard and honor the memory and gift of my dear friends.  

Britt and Connie I miss you both ! !