Saturday, November 26, 2011

Family & Impermanence

An event happened this year that changed me.  Or maybe it didn’t change me, but it definitely reminded me of several things I’ve been told over the years. Somehow this event made it, life, so much more real.

Interestingly, the event that touched me so profoundly had nothing to do with myself, nor anyone that I’ve known or know in my life.  It didn’t involve family or friends.  I wasn’t attached to the situation in any way and in fact didn’t, and still don’t, know the family this happened to…they have no idea how far their story has reached for sure. Most likely we will never meet and they will never know who I am.

One weekend morning, around 8am, a mom, perhaps just only 30, was driving her three kids, seven years and younger, to meet up with their dad at one of their favorite family places.  It was really common for the family to spend the day together so this was nothing out of the ordinary.

Within minutes of their home, a home that had been decorated only a few days ago before Halloween,  this mom, …wife, friend, daughter, lover, niece, sister…drove into an intersection where her car was hit directly on the driver’s side by a man going between 40-50 miles an hr.

No one knows what made her pull out into the intersection or how the two ended up colliding.  The man wasn’t driving drunk.  Did he try to run a red light? Was she distracted by something happening in her car?  To date several other accidents have occurred here already.

She was killed within minutes. Her three babies in the backseat were wounded. The oldest died while the other two, a little boy and girl, were [are] in intensive care indefinitely.  

For days after learning about this story I searched for information about them on the internet every day.  I found myself praying for the father and husband who lost nearly half of his family.  I actually felt grief at the mere idea of something like this happening to someone.  It hurt me, tugged me, I even have a song I listen to that reminds me of this family.  [it is a popular song at the time of the deaths]. 

There are personal reasons, for sure, about why this story affected me so deeply out of the many tragedies that happen every day.  This story gives me strength and a sense of urgency to really enjoy my moments, the people I love,  the things that excite me, and reminds me to receive all life has to offer.   It is so hard for many of us to relax and receive from others or the universe.  To honor our lives, I believe we have to receive and cherish the love, the joy, the happiness and affections of others.  It’s all too easy to overlook and take for granted our relationships.  Put aside any resentments, anger, ill-will toward others and make an intention to enjoy them.  Everything is impermanent -- we if remembered this everyday how might your life and your relationships change?