If you are in Colorado and the wind woke you up last night, raise your hand. It was outrageous and loud enough to stir me out a Blue Moon beer-induced sleep. I don’t know about you, but when I wake in the middle of the night, there is no turning over and going back to snoozeville like when I was ten years old. My mind starts racing, running marathons of god- knows-what all over the place.
When I woke up last night at about 3:30 a.m., I was thinking about Sherry, like it seems I always am these days. I had read some news reports before bed (never a good idea). One eerie detail really stuck with me. Sherry left her house at 6:30 a.m. to go for a run. At 6:40 a.m. she was kidnapped by two men who had reportedly driven into town after driving all night from Colorado. It seems they were just looking for trouble and Sherry was in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time. It’s almost like being struck by lightening.
Ten minutes. She got about a mile from her house when she was abducted. Ugh.
Impossibly, one week ago we found out Sherry was dead. She and her sister, Rhonda, were going to go out to their parent’s ranch after she got back from her run. How many times have you made plans to do something “after your run?”
The loss of Sherry has made me think deeply about the mark I want to make in my own life. I ask myself if I am living in such a way that people will speak of me how I wish they would speak of me after I take my last breath. They probably won’t be talking about how fast I ran a marathon or if my abs resembled a six pack. They will most likely be talking about my approach to life and relationships. I can only hope I give them something good to say.
Some of Sherry’s students remember her in this article. She made a difference for so many people.
It is funny how death makes us think about life and how well or not-well we are living it. It also gives us an up front and personal perspective on how temporary things are. It screams at us to STOP WAITING. Life is today and it may not be tomorrow.
Everyday I read a passage from the Book of Awakening, and today’s message rang so true:
The further I wake into this life, I realize the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is both in the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. It is on the porch as well as on top of the mountain. Joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.
Be where we are.
If being where we are is on the bleachers that hurt our asses, so be it. We need to not pine for things to be different, because as we do that we lose sight of the beauty of the present moment. We all think the grass is greener. Maybe it is, but likely it isn’t. Take a look around. You have it pretty good, don’t you? I do.
How do you want to be remembered? Are you living your life that way?