My children are now grown and living life on their own. Having had 4 kids in 5 years, my children shared more than hand-me-downs they shared their friends. This morning, they received the news that their friend Michael passed away. This young man was a beloved son and friend to many.
Jesi stood crying in my bathroom, Avry was on the phone in shock and Cody was knocking on my front door. It's been a while since I have seen my children so broken hearted.
As I reflected back on Michaels life, he was unique in the fact that he had the ability, the authenticity, to live his life outside the box, to live bigger, to laugh louder. And he always made a difference when he walked into a room!
Before Cody walked out the door this afternoon he looked at me and said," Mom, you know what Michael's last words were to me last night on the phone?"
"What son?" I somberly replied.
"Hey, Man. Life is short." Michael stated.
What I have learned:
As parents, we never expect to bury our children at any age, let alone the tender age of 24. Jesus, of Nazareth, was approximately 33 years old when his mother witnessed his crucifixion. Anne Franks mother hid her child during the holocaust. Anne, the Jewish diarist, was 15 when she died. And Princess Diana was tragically killed at 36. Their lives were short...but they were lived wide.
You do not have to be rich or famous to make a difference in the world.
As my 24-year-old son wept in my arms this morning, I was over taken by the love he had for a young man that made a difference in his life. Jesus was born in a barn, Anne Frank wrote her diary while in hiding, and Princess Diana was a school teacher. In spite of their tragic deaths they made a difference in the lives of the those around them.
Your circle of influence can reach across social class, gender, and age.
History documents Jesus as having healed, prayed, and preached to the rich and to the poor. Anne Franks diary reached far beyond it's borders to touch the world, and the shy quiet teacher, Diana, came to be known as the People's Princess. Compassion has no boundaries.
Life is short.
Michael, at the age of 24, grasped the concept that life was short and that life was meant to be lived. So start living your life today. Make a difference by making others feel important. Live your life wide by reaching out to those around you. And seize this very moment. Take a risk, let down your guard, let go of your fear and have faith that what you give you will also receive.
"Hey Man, Life Is Short",