I’ve experienced two insights this week which are not directly connected but somehow made a statement in their correlation.  I recently finished up a project that had a lot to do with family.  It’s about the odds being stacked against defeat but triumph winning out.  Where the connection of family carries through to help a young lady achieve her dream.  I was fortunate enough to meet the family and see how close they were and how much fun they had with each other.  In knowing their story I’m sure there were times when it all seemed impossible but they pulled through as a family.  Don’t get me wrong.  This journey was not easy and I’m sure there are moments when it’s not as fun as it seemed when I was the observer.  In fact, she wanted to quit because she missed her family and wanted to be with them.  Yes, she is an athlete.  They may be incredibly blessed with talent but most of them, while coming up, are still children.  Their families are what seem to keep them going.  How many times have you seen an athlete thank their mother?

The head of the family is as strong of a woman as you will ever meet.  She raised four beautiful children who are champions in their spirit and their character.  Their sister is the most noticed because of her success but I never felt for one moment any jealousy or anger among her siblings.  They could not have being more humble or more loving.  And when they were all together all they did was laugh!  Their new found success didn’t seem to faze them in the least.  The family unit was so strong that there seem to be a bubble around them to protect them from any harm.  I admired and yes even envied what they all shared with each other.

On the other end of the spectrum I recently experienced the death of a family member.  They were young and kind and also had that spirit of fun and vibrancy.  They were sensitive and wanted to be happy.  They did not live near me and so I wasn’t as intimate as I would have liked to have been. Or I should have been.  Many thoughts  are racing through my head as I look at the family who are so close.  When you are that close you are aware of everything about each other and you are there to help if they cry out.

With my family member I think they needed something more.  Demons can enter the picture that are hard to shake.  Their voices can overshadow the best intentions and cloud reason.  We have yet to determine exactly what causes the demons to exist. We prescribe drugs which seem to help a number of people but not others.  There are those where it’s just too much even with the help.  And there is also a past that is just as troubling.  Some can deal with that past and come through and some cannot.

I don’t know what makes people fight to stay alive and to thrive in the worst situations.  All I know is that when I looked at that family so close I long for one more moment with the person who was taken way too young.  I once heard someone say, “One of the biggest mistakes I have made is not paying attention.”  I feel that’s been one of mine.  Life seems to get in the way and we tell ourselves tomorrow, tomorrow.  Then something like a death that is unexpected and unwanted happens and it all becomes too close, too real and too tragic.

Tomorrow is really today.  I know this may sound trite but make that call you’ve been putting off because of whatever.  It’s not important.  What’s important is now.  As I see it, today is all we’ve really got.