All of us will die.
I’ve been reminded of that truth more than usual recently.
Two days ago, I heard that a former high school teacher and coach died after a seven-month battle with cancer.
And yesterday I learned from reading my college alumni magazine that a classmate died last October, also of cancer.
I was not exceptionally close to either man.
Yet still learning about their passing jarred me, not only as a vivid reminder of time’s inexorable and inevitable passage, but also as a prompt to live close to my heart.
For me, that means being as fully present as possible and savoring my life’s gifts.
Fortunately, I have many of them.
Unwavering love from Dunreith, who is showing her strength yet again in tending to her ailing mother.
A smile from Aidan at last night’s lacrosse banquet when his coach told the players to thank their parents.
Sitting at my desk in Hoy, listening to the Spanish being spoken and marveling at my good fortune in working there and at the unlikely place in which I find myself.
The pleasure of riding my bike with two full tires.
The joy in finding a seat on a crowded train.
The smell, taste and color of chicken tikka masala.
The sizzling of the cheeseburger I just made for Aidan after he returned from a season and career-ending lacrosse defeat.
The cool air blowing in from outside as I write.
Memories of the last days of high school in 1983.
Tenderness in the voices of family and friends.
Forgiveness for mistakes.
An unexpected donation.
The ability to acknowledge and see visions being realized.
I know where we’ll end, and I’m grateful for the many, many gifts I receive each day.