This post might be a bit heavy for a Monday. If you don't want to stick around, I understand. I've debated on writing it. I don't have pictures. I don't have motivational quote. I have sincerity.
I know that this time of the year tends to be happy. It's a time for family, friends, for re-connecting and then for new resolutions. There's hope in the air. And for me, it was very much a time with family and friends. Time with loved ones. Enjoying the innocence of my niece and nephew. Their wonder and excitement.
Also, it was a time of loss and reflection. Last Monday I learned of the loss of someone I knew. We weren't best friends by any means. But she was someone I had known from the gym then later learned we had mutual good friends and even worked at the same company.
She was one of those people who always had a smile on her face, always upbeat. I have been to her home, worked out with her, hung out with her at tailgates, enjoyed time together. She and her sister died together in a tragic car crash last Sunday night. She left behind kids, a husband, and so many friends.
Of course that had my head in a new place. I was certainly thinking more about my family, friends, how short life can be. Death essentially. Tuesday we headed to our home town to have lunch with my mom and her husband, my sis and her kids before going to my dad's.
It was while walking with my sister and niece that I got a phone call from a friend and former co-worker. I knew immediately something was really wrong. I heard it in her voice as she said, "Hey Heath." That's what she's always called me. A co-worker of ours had passed that morning from blood clots. Yep, one year ago I was trying to beat a clot, and now the news that someone I worked very closely with had just died from clots. I felt so sick.
I cried. I got very morose. I started contemplating life, death, loss. It's not rational, but now I've sort of reverted to this time last year when I was questioning my own life. Any twinge, ache ... is it another clot. Is my body creating mass amounts of clots? I'm scared.
The clavicle area that had originally tipped me off to my clot has been aching for about 4 weeks now. I keep waiting for that swelling to appear. And now? Now I'm almost convinced it's another clot. I was struggling with breathing during a run the other day, and of course I thought, "clot in my lung." Not rational. I absolutely know that. A random ache in my leg and I searched for signs of swelling.
And to top it off, I had lunch with one of my very very dearest friends. I've known her almost as long as I've known my sister. She and her family lost their home to a fire the Thursday before Christmas. Her children's room was on the side where the worst of the fire and smoke were. She could have lost them. So I think of her as well. Her new perspective of life, of what's important.
While this time of the year is usually about hope, the future, change, it's important to remember that it's not that for everyone. I think it's important to think in terms of perspective. You think you have nothing, but think of those who don't. Those who've lost a home, lost loved ones, lost hope.
I guess the take-away (if there is one) from this rambling post is that you have to live in the moment, appreciate what you DO have, love love love those in your life and let them know.