Last week I found out that someone I knew died during a routine operation to repair broken bones in her foot. This gal was actively involved in fitness and had dropped weight recently. She was on the right track. By all accounts she was "healthy." But that didn't matter. It seems that her death was related somehow to anesthesia. That isn't really as relevant as the fact that this wife and mother of four children is no longer with us.
My initial reaction was shock. After the shock, it was time to pray for this gal's family as they dealt with all that follows a sudden death. Then a rather self-centered reaction crept into my thoughts - that could easily be me. My family could be mourning my death, due to totally unforeseen circumstances. It could be any of us. That realization is very sobering.
Life is a gift. It is to be appreciated. I was overcome with gratitude for all I have and all the potential life I have yet to live. I have been given the gift of time for this season of my life. There is a lot I want to accomplish. In addition to all my to-do lists, goals and organizational tasks, I need to remember to enjoy life and the people - yes, the people (not the things) whom God has placed on my journey.
The weight of this loss of a casual friend has been striking to me. I didn't know her well, yet I know that she was a blessing to many people. I hope to have that kind of legacy. And right now I plan to make it a priority to focus on relationships, rather than tasks. This is the best way I know to honor my friend.