My daughter got some news about a high school friend today. Just twenty years old, slightly younger than my daughter, he died suddenly, unexpectedly, of heart failure. He was a funny and talented guy. Throughout his years in orchestra, he was always either first or second chair in the violins. One year at contest, I somehow ended up as keeper of the coats in the practice room. For awhile, I was there with only him. Oh, my, he talked a mile a minute, and then realized he needed to practice his piece one more time. He played just as furiously as he had been talking.
My daughter would laugh telling the story of lunchtime conversations when they would be talking about orchestra one second, and in the next he would veer off to a totally unrelated topic. He was in the group of ten friends that my daughter went to senior prom with. My daughter’s boyfriend (who she knew only as a friend of a friend of a friend in high school- they began dating at college) has known him since they were in fifth grade. He graduated eighth in a class of over 700. He was a junior studying business at the university. A bright future was ahead for him. But in an instant, he is gone.
A reminder to cherish each life that touches yours, however briefly. To stay in touch with friends. To tell others how they have touched you. To take every opportunity to encourage others. To let them know you care. To share laughter and fun. To talk about important things. To listen. To know their story.
No matter the number of years… Life. is. short.