Today we’re here…tomorrow we don’t know

Recently my sisters and I celebrated my parent’s birthdays something we didn’t do…EVER. They were born only a few days apart, different years. My dad turned 78 and my mom 75. We made a big deal of my father’s 70th birthday and had a big event with family and friends. After that we simply called, wished happy birthdays or simply had dinner somewhere and left it at that.

This year, out of the blue (and a few weeks before their actual birthday) I talked to my sisters and convinced them to throw them a small birthday party, given that we’re all a little tight with money. They agreed, so I suggested a forty dollar ($40.00) contribution so we could get what was necessary for the party. I asked my mom and dad what they’d like to eat so I could cook for them and make it extra special, everything homemade.

On I went to plan a party for two people who never celebrated their birthdays because it wasn’t important or it didn’t matter to them. They had their plates full with five children and three jobs so we could all eat, study, have a roof over our heads….you get the idea. Last year we had a health scare with my father, so this was the perfect moment to celebrate life, health, love and yes, another year with us. Needless to say we worked hard to keep some things a surprise and plan a day of fun and games for everybody to enjoy, including them. It was a birthday party in all its glory; balloons, cupcakes, banners, music, games, karaoke, charades…it was so fun. We ate like nobody’s business, we laughed, cried and ended up feeling tired but satisfied. A few weeks later my parents were still raving about their birthday party and how grateful they were that we did that for them.

How could we not? They’re alive, healthy and mentally able to enjoy whatever we throw at them, they deserve so much more…so we made a commitment that we would celebrate every birthday (from now on) with a fun filled party, where we would celebrate their lives and our love for them…

All this mushy stuff it’s because I work closely (among other things) with situations where people get seriously hurt; accidents that can change or end a life in a matter of seconds. I see (personally) the damage and profound sadness that’s left behind. Out of nowhere families lives get turned upside down and there’s no right answer to give, much less words to comfort them. All of this got me thinking about my life and what I want to remember and be remembered by.

Life’s too short; just when you start to get the hang of things, it might actually end. In the blink of an eye it could be over and we could draw our last breath. Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to be a fatalist, it’s just a matter of human nature: we’re born; some of us grow up to old age and then, inevitably, we die. Sad or scary as it may seem, it is what it is. In the morning we get up, and in that instant we begin our day with our usual routine without giving any thought that this could be our last.

So, aside from stating the obvious, please take time to hug, kiss…and love every second of this precious life. Don’t waste your time in pointless fights and worthless conflicts. Looking back at all the time one wastes on being mad (for no good reason) with the ones we share our lives with and love deeply. It feels awful to realize we could’ve done better. We could’ve laughed until our stomachs hurt; shared happiness, simple moments of true bliss…simply love the heck out of life. Smile more and frown less, let love in and share the hope of a better life.

Just disregard what others think or say, one should never let in or (even less) repeat bad criticism about oneself. Let’s not be so hard on ourselves or others; people make mistakes, what’s the big deal. Even when we feel that our heart is breaking, let’s try to find the lessons in that experience and use it to better ourselves and protect our hearts in the future. We’re all born with an amazing set of skills; every one of us has infinite potential to be whatever we set our minds to. We have to decide how and where to begin. Worry less about what others think and start doing what we really love and feel passionate about. Everything else comes and goes, meanwhile or lives keep getting fuller and fuller.

Take care of our loved ones, gather the strength from whatever energy we believe in and let’s make it our goal in life to have no regrets when it all comes to an end. Love with all our hearts, laugh out loud, feeling free to be as we are, cry and let our souls take in and let out all the best things in life (which are usually free). Only then we’ll be able to face bravely every part of life…including death.

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