Today, I found out that a gentleman I knew for almost 8 years died at the age of 41, in his sleep. This was a person who was always kind, friendly, a great listener and willing to hug everybody. Your initial impression upon meeting Nate was that he was kind of a jerk, and a bit scary. You see, he was the security guard at the Publix I worked at for 5 years and have shopped at for 13. He knew all of us in the store by name, and when we closed at the end of the night, he was right outside the doors making sure we all made it to our cars. When there was trouble during the evening, he was right there diffusing the situation, or calling the cops. He was a big guy, tall, broad, beard that I told him regularly was way too out of control and long. I did not socialize with Nate, except on Facebook, but many nights I would get off work and we would talk when I walked to my car. Sometimes for more than an hour. He would walk through the store every evening at the beginning of his shift and say hello to everyone, ask who was closing - we were his people and he looked out for all of us. My daughter works in the bakery and she said he would come in and say hello, call her by name, ask how I'm doing (I'm at a different store now). When I ran into him, he would ask for my kids by name.
One of our mutual friends, Jessica posted a picture on his wall that said no matter how awkward, tell your friends you love them, eventually it's not awkward anymore. She also said she wishes she could tell him one more time how she loved him. This made me think: do I tell the people I love that I love them enough? Do I show them? Maybe we aren't that level of friends, but maybe people that have made an impact on my life - do I tell them? Do they know? When was the last time I made time for the people that matter? We get so caught up in our lives, in our "busy", in our own little worlds, are we taking time to show others we care? Money doesn't matter, you can't take it with you. The gifts you give are nice, but your time is what really impacts people - that's where the memories are.
COVID has robbed us of a lot of time with people. My son didn't get to spend time with his grandparents last summer (which he usually does every year). We didn't get to see my parents for Christmas, or my husband's mom, or his brother's family, and our niece who's birthday is on Christmas day. We can't get this past year back. What are you doing in the meantime? Are you spending time with those you can? Are you reaching out? Or are you so caught up in what's going on in your world, that you forget? My circle of people gets smaller the older I get, you start to take stock, and I've realized that I want relationships with people that are mutually gratifying. I call, you call, I visit, you visit. One way streets or trying to hold onto relationships that have run their course is not making good use of your time. But, in the same respect thinking someone is just always going to be there isn't the best way to show people you care, because one day you may wake up and find the opportunity is lost. The time has passed. They are no longer there.
My goal this past year has been to live. To show my feelings more. To make sure I live with no regrets. And to LIVE. There is no reset, no do-over button. This is it. Are you living your best life? Are you being true to yourself, and being your authentic self? And do the people who matter know they matter?
Be blessed, be a blessing and thanks for sharing this journey with me. CrazyLady