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8.29.2011

"there is a saying that goes...


...you don't know what you have until it's gone. The truth is, you already knew what you had, you just never thought you would lose it."

I heard this quote today and really felt the need to pass it on. Take a moment to consider how good you have it at this very moment- do you have a roof over your head? food on the table? running water? gas for your car? a family? friends? a significant other? a paycheck? How easy it is to forget what a luxury having most of these things truly is. In the wake of Hurricane Irene, the media has exposed people to the destruction that a natural disaster can cause. In 13 days, Americans will remember how many lives were lost on that tragic day in September 2001. I was reminded how precious life was when I woke up on Sunday to news that a friends' brother had been stabbed in the stomach in New Hampshire, escaping a sure death by literally centimeters. We all go through life sweating the small stuff- worrying about a bad hair day, burning dinner, thinking you look 10 pounds heavier after skipping the gym, getting in a tiff with our significant other, getting reprimanded at work, giving the customer service rep attitude because your cell phone service was down for 30 minutes, eating that second brownie, or yelling at your mom for trying to set you up on a date. The truth is, we have entirely more to be thankful about than we do to be complaining about. Unfortunately we don't always realize just how much we have until it's not there anymore- whether it's a something like losing a job, a house, or car insurance coverage; or if it's losing a living thing such as a boyfriend, a close friend, a family pet, or a grandparent. Things can usually be replaced, unless they are those few truly priceless items, but people cannot be replaced. Whether lost for the time being, or lost permanently, individual people are one of a kind. I don't need to remind you just how incredibly influential someone can be in your life, because we've all met someone that we can give credit to for turning us into the person we are today. The most tragic part of losing someone you care about is feeling like you never got the chance to say what you wanted to. Sometimes we don't know how we feel about something until it has already disappeared from our lives, and that's the part that can be hardest. Emotions are hard enough to break down into bite-sized clear thoughts, let alone actual words. What I press you to do today is recognize the great people and things you have in your life, and to give thanks. Be grateful for the people who do and say things "because they care"- even if they say things you don't necessarily want to hear. Even for the little things we need to say thank you; because at the end of the day, those are the tiny blessings that are capable of making the biggest impact. Skip one of your usual Monday night television shows to call an old friend, or take a day trip to see an elderly family member. It's the relationships we develop that make life meaningful- so don't let any of those unforgettable people in your life forget how much they mean to you because tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.

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