Friday, September 19, 2008

Live Like You Were Dying

This month marks the anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001. It seems as the years go by, it becomes easier and easier to forget what happened on that tragic day. Even I had to think for a split second why the flags were at half-staff last week. I was quickly reminded later in the week as I watched a documentary on the History Channel that showed raw footage that normal people, just like you and me, filmed during that tragic day.

I don't think the severity of that day hit me until I watched this show. There were firefighters covered in soot and ash, trying desperately to call their loved ones. They knew this may be the day that daddy doesn't come home from work. There were screams from college age girls filming as the second plane hit the tower, they didn't know what to do or how many more airplanes there would be. There were cops yelling at people to move north up the island and away from the World Trade Center, trying to control the unthinkable. There was film of the clear blue sky that quickly turned into darkness as a tidal wave of debris from the collapsing buildings flooded the streets, instantly blinding and choking the hundreds of people trying to get off of deaths doorstep. Probably the most horrifying videos were of people who were jumping from the higher levels of the tower, close to where the planes had hit. They were most certainly trying to escape the fiery hell that existed in what once was their office, their home away from home.

What they thought was going to be "just another day at the office" turned into their last day at the office. All of a sudden, that fight they had with their spouse wasn't such a big deal anymore, their daughters new boyfriend with the nose piercing didn't bother them quite so much, and their sons soccer game that they missed because they were just too busy, seemed a little more important now. All they could do was try to make one last phone call, one last "I love you", and one last "good-bye".

Usually my blog is filled with lighthearted humor and funny stories. Sometimes though, the world isn't so funny. Family members pass away, bridges collapse, hurricanes hit, people get divorced, and planes run into buildings. It's easy to take everyday for granted when the next one seems to come as easily as the last. But what if tomorrow never comes? What if you were told you have six months to live? Would you do things differently? Would you spend more time with your best friend? Would you call someone you haven't spoken with in a while, just to tell them how special they are to you? Would you squeeze your kids baseball game into your busy schedule? Would you take your spouse on more dates?

What would you do, if you lived like you were dying?

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