The class of 99 loses a wonderful soul

A little personal issue tonight is on my mind..

I have become aware of some troubling news tonight … a friend of mine and a fellow graduate from the class of 1999 somewhere in Pennsylvania, somewhere in time, has passed away way too early after a long battle with breast cancer. I won’t give details of her full name or location, but I decided to write something about this to share some thoughts…

Her name is Lori. And she was filled with life from the moment I met her way back in my high school years. I saw her about two years ago for the first time in ages .. she was in a darker place, battling cancer, and fighting for her life. But living each moment..

I did not speak to her for several months, but that last time I did she seemed ok. She seemed happy, and truly joyful to have moments of life to enjoy.

Today I came to understand that she passed into the next realm, whatever that realm may be..

She is gone too early.. she is gone to fast. The class of 99 is without someone –already. I pray for Lori and her family.. I cannot imagine the grief.

A few months ago I had a Facebook chat with her, in which she was asking me about my then 17-month-old and she was telling me about her 9-year-old.  It would so happen to be that last time I spoke to her, unfortunately. During our conversation she explained she just got done having chemotherapy that very day. But it is what she said about family that stuck with me.. Lori said something that now haunts me as much as it does inspire me. Talking about her own children, children she loved, she said, “I wake every morning for them.”

I don’t know what will happen tomorrow when she does not wake for them. I don’t know the rules about death. No one does.. We don’t understand life let alone death. We seldom realize that the final hours could be at our doorstep, waiting and lurking to take us.. We don’t want to come to grips with our own collective demise. And why should we!?
We have people to wake for. We have things to do. Lori did.. and she turned away from the darkness that so many would have succumbed to and embraced light instead. She embraced hope and happiness, and stopped counting down the days and instead began living each moment to the very fullest..

Life takes turns we never expect. Sometimes you meet someone who is living proof that you can live each day with joy and wonder, and live it like it’s your last..

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
    Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
    To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
    The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
    And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
    When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
    Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
    And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
    You may for ever tarry.

-Robert Herrick: ‘TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME’
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