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July 8, 2009

Saying Goodbye

I received an email this morning as I got ready for work, from a very good friend that I've known since childhood, saying that his mom had died of pancreatic cancer early this morning.

Without a calendar in front of me, I believe it's been 3 to 4 weeks from, 'my mom doesn't look good' until the news today, which fortunately arrived post coffee, pre-mascara.

Three to four weeks? How is that even possible?

It took my breath away, the suddeness, the sheer inability to even start a battle against a disease, much less lose one so quickly.

It was made more difficult by that fact that this was someone who, if I had stopped by to visit and had a Diet Coke in my hand (a definite), would have promptly handed me a dissertation on aspartame and the negative effects it has on your body. To say she was very health conscious would be like me saying 'I'm sorta busy'-huge understatement.

The world doesn't stop though, for cancer or tears or runny mascara.

I had no choice really but to continue with getting ready for work, Visine in first, mascara on last, Mary Kay puffy eye helper gel stuff on hand as back up.

I try to learn lessons when they are staring me straight in the face, sorta like when Darth Bulldog was breathing down my neck the other day and I couldn't get away from him.

There is a lesson here, many I am sure, some I might not think of for a long time.

What I walked away with, and I believe she might have wanted us to take something from this, is something we all know but just forget, other than skip the Diet cokes:

None of us is every guaranteed another moment, another day, another year, with a loved one.

We are so caught up in the warp speed world we all have grown accustomed to, that the small things, the things we would somehow change or say in the end if we had the chance, are forgotten or assumed. And suddenly with no notice, the chance is gone.

If only God was on Twitter or Facebook and could update people's status for them as needed.

We might all be on a little more alert if we logged on one night and our Facebook status suddenly said, "Only a few weeks left, better tell everyone you love them now, see you soon, God."

Or if I received a Tweet that said, "shannonr2, time's almost up, get ready, God."

If only it worked that way.

Of course I would have to instantly reply back, (because I have my Blackberry with me 24/7) with "Whoa, God, we need to talk. Who gave you access to my calendar? And you're not on my Outlook schedule yet!"

We all have a time and we hope it's a long time away, but when the moment arrives, I know I won't be looking for the Blackberry or worried about the bills.

I will wish for more pancakes at breakfast on Sunday with the kids, one more night of noisy teenagers crashed on my couch, a few more moments with my husband, more phone calls to my dad, lunches with my mom and swimming pool excursions with my Power Puff Girl/Cinderella nieces and happy as a clam nephew.

Call someone you haven't talked to and tell them you love them.

It will mean so much more now for you to tell someone how much you care for them, then in the urgency of final moments, that you may or may not be granted.

And if all else fails, go ahead and Tweet it to them. Text it. IM Them. Shoot, send it through Facebook.

After all, God gave us technology for a reason.

As for me, I'm going to watch a movie with my husband and son. No Tweeting necessary.

Good bye to an old friend, a good mom.

Thank you for the Thanksgiving dinners you served me throughout high school.

And I promise to try to cut back on the Diet Coke.

You will me missed.
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