It seems like I've been writing a lot of entries lately about the sadness of losing people. This week I was stunned to hear of the passing of a good man who died too young. Mike Winters was only 58 years old. He leaves behind a grieving family, though one that will carry on in his absence because he bequeathed them a legacy of love, hard work, and strength of character.
I had the privilege of performing the wedding of his daughter, Cassie, a young lady I love very much. She was once my student, but now she is my friend. Cas was truly her daddy's girl. Her face lit up every time she spoke of him. I'm sure it still does, though, for now, that light is dimmed by devastating sadness.
This event reminds me once more of those things that should be self-evident every day of the year, but I tend to push to the back of my mind. Things that some people always remember, but, being totally honest, I forget way too easily.
First, I forget to be thankful for all the blessings in my life. It's not that I dwell on the negatives. Sometimes I do, but mostly, I am simply not conscious of anything either way. I just kind of drift through life without giving it nearly enough thought. Any of my students who read my blog will find this ironic because I'm constantly preaching at them to live intentionally, to make and keep memories, to think about all the good things they have in their lives. I guess I need to take my own lesson a little better.
And it's not just having a feeling of thankfulness that I need. I don't say thank you nearly enough. There are so many people who have done more for me than they can possibly know and I don't express my gratitude nearly enough. In fact, I take their role in my life for granted. This event has made me remember that no one's presence and help is guaranteed. People move, people pass away, people sometimes are just meant to be a part of our lives for a season. So we need to treasure every loved one for every second we have him or her. Beyond that, we must make sure they know we treasure them and are thankful, both for them and to them.
So rather than list all those folks here, my goal for this week is to let everyone in my life know just how much they mean to me and how thankful for everything they do for me just by loving me and being in my life.