On mortality

It's amazing what a little reminder of our own mortality and fragility can do to us. I was talking with my mom today about a recent tragedy that happened in my hometown - a woman, a mother, was jogging one morning and was struck and killed by a car. It certainly struck me as sad, and my mother insisted that I knew her - that I went to school with her daughter as well as the mother who was killed. When my mother actually described who it was, I guessed it pretty quickly, and it honestly hit me like a ton of bricks. Not because I was close to her or her daughter, but because all of a sudden a face was put to the whole experience. I remember meeting her at a big gathering last year, catching up with her and hearing about all the volunteer work she was doing. I remember going to school, no - growing up with, her daughter over many years. Suddenly it all felt so much more 'real' - I couldn't stop imagining the actual event in my head, nor could I stop seeing the tears in her daughter's eyes. It made the experience much more tangible in my head.

"Life is so short, nothing is guaranteed. That's why it's so important to live a good life all the time," my mother said after I realized who she was talking about. Which is, of course true. It seems like every time I really sit down and chat with my parents, really old friends, or just connect with my roots, I remember how important that is. Just leading a good life. Helping other people, and experiencing life while also improving others. Reminds me to really recenter myself sometimes, and what I really want each day to be - take more risks. If today was your last day, would you be happy how you spent it? If not, why not? Would you have things you wish you said, to people you wish you could say them to? I hope to have less and less of those moments, even if it makes me look foolish along the way.

So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back. Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.
- Anonymous

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