… Your life can change.

That is what happened this last week for one of my best and oldest friends. It was with great sadness and enormous shock and tremendous heartbreak that her husband passed away.  He was young. He was here. He was gone.

It’s been surreal for all of us to wrap our heads around. We’re more than a close group of friends. We’ve grown up together. We were kids together, we’ve raised our kids together, we’ve been at each others weddings and showers, births and birthdays. And now… we will be arm and arm at a funeral. Holding our friend up, grieving with her as we say good-bye, for now, to her dear beloved husband.

And I’m sad. Very sad.

I know we’re all going to die. That all of us are here for only a certain period of time. But I don’t spend my days thinking about that. I can’t. If I did I would quit my job and spend all day and night staring at my daughter, following her around, going to school with her, to friend’s houses with her, to sleep with her. I would literally drive her insane. Because I wouldn’t want to miss a minute — not a second of time with her.

But of course we can’t live like that. I can’t live like that. I have to wake up and make the most of the day by being as in this life, this world, this body as I possibly can be. So, I kiss my animals, drink my coffee, listen to the birds, snuggle with my guy, leave silly notes in my daughter’s lunchbox, go to work, do the job I love, laugh, listen, learn and remind myself that today is everything. Today is a good day. Today I’m alive.

But when a friend is suddenly taken I can’t help but be reminded… everything can change in a minute.

My daughter started eighth grade last week. A lot has been changing for her. Her classes, her interests, her knowledge, her body (dear lord). And with every major change my daughter cries. Weeps, actually. When I asked her what was she most sad about she said,

I love being a child. I don’t want it to end. Every little thing is a reminder I’m moving farther away from who I am and into someone new. And then it reminds me that this is how life is. We all keep growing old and then we die.

Okay, aside from the fact that my daughter is amazing at articulating her thoughts and feelings, I thought about what she said for the rest of the day and into the next. Flooded with my own emotions. I am blessed with a daughter who loves her childhood so much she is in no rush to leave it. I am blessed with a daughter who feels deeply and let’s me in. And I am blessed to be present for it all, completely available to her, able to hold her and remind her that she will always be who she is and she’s just going to take the amazing child that she is with her on this ride of life. Children live forever.

Children live forever.

Children spend their days waking up, kissing animals, listening to birds, snuggling with loved ones, leaving silly notes in lunchboxes, laughing,  listening, learning and living their day to the fullest… Not thinking about the end.

So, children… all of us children… make today a good one. The best one.