Life is a gift. We must therefore, unwrap it with a smile on our face, and hope in our heart. Each day I see the sun, I see hope. No matter how gloomy the clouds are, I do not worry so much, for I know the sun is still behind the clouds. To live, we must do more than breathe.
I remember the first time I touched a dead body. It was cold and stiff. My face wandered around his body that was lying still on the bed. He looked so peaceful. He still looked like my father. At that moment, I did not know Death was starring at me in the face, though it had already hugged my father, and didn’t let go. It looked like he was asleep. I was 12. I didn’t understand.
Death visited my family again when it took one of my brothers, Tony. He was in his 20s. He died in a ghastly automobile accident. And in 1993, Death obviously figured it wasn’t done with my family. It came in the middle of the night, like a thief, and took my eldest sister, Franca. She was 34. It did not consider her babies. At this time, my heart almost left my body. I suppressed my emotions because I wanted to be strong for her babies (4, 5, and 8), and my mother. I learned from this heartbreak to never, ever, suppress your emotions. Speak out! It matters.
The last time Death took my breath away was in 1996. It decided that faithful day must be the day to steal the first guy I ever loved… without consideration of his aging parents. Onuorah had just turned 28. He died with his friends, Ike and Chido, in that fiery automobile accident.
Everyday, all over the world, people die, and babies are born too. Therefore, as long as life exists, death will hang around. It’s like day and night, the sun and the moon, love and hate, man and woman, hope and despair, one cannot do without the other.
Death does not discriminate. It does not care who you are, the color of your skin or hair, the calibre of your class, how poor or rich you are… Heck, it doesn’t care how tall or short you are. Death has no shame. It is callous. So, it comes and goes as it pleases. It is greedy and inconsiderate. It has no soul.
This morning, my heart was broken on hearing the news of a family friend that passed away about 9 hours ago. He was expecting Death because cancer had already taken resident in his body. I had just seen Mr. Clement in Maryland in August 2016 when he came to visit my sister and I. He was full of life and told us stories. My friend, Frankie, was there too.
What is my point of these Death stories? Well, it is simple:
- Make time to be happy because life/tomorrow is not guaranteed.
- Make room for neither hate nor jealousy.
- Embrace love instead, so that when Death comes, it knows you have something it can never take from you, even in death.
- Make time to be kind.
- Make time to forgive.
- Don’t wait for November to come to celebrate Thanksgiving. Be thankful every single day, even in the midst of a storm.
- Hug hope.
- Throw procrastination in the bin.
- Be a better version of yourself, until you become the best of you. Do not wish to be (like) someone else. Be inspired instead.
Remember, the present (today) is here for a reason. Make it matter. Appreciate it. Live it.
Sometimes, the future changes quickly, and completely, and we are left with the choice of what to do next. We can choose to be afraid of it, to stand there, trembling…not moving, assuming the worse that can happen, or we step forward into the unknown, and assume, it would be bright. ~ From Grey’s Anatomy