This morning I woke up to shocking news. A Facebook status saying that my dear friend, Tracey, passed away. I did a double take - did I REALLY just read that? I went to her profile page and saw that her husband posted it. My heart almost stopped. I talked to her just YESTERDAY on Facebook. I knew she was going through a rough time. I know that the last few years for her haven't been easy. She struggled with stuff just like the rest of us. While her pain may not have been visible (to us), it was there. We don't know the cause of death yet (her husband posted that the medical examiner will tell us later). But we don't need to know the reason why. She is gone and we are left to pick up the broken pieces of our hearts and lives.

She wanted to be a mom. And that desire came true - she had a beautiful daughter and handsome son. Her daughter started kindergarten three days ago. She was a source of encouragement. A bright spot in my day, and others too. A nurse, a published author, a wife, a teacher ...

There are so many wonderful things to say about her. And that's usually the case when a friend passes away. We say what they might have wanted to hear all along and we never told them. We went on with our lives while they were dealing with pain. Pain that we might never know or experience.

Put aside your differences. Your petty arguments. Whatever YOU think they should do. They could be gone in a a blink of an eye. If ___ was gone in the next hour, what would you do RIGHT NOW? Pick up the phone and talk to them? Apologize for judging? A simple "I love you" or "I'm thinking about you" or "hang in there." A smile. A hug. Even to strangers that pass us on the street.

We live in a self-centered world. Wake up, people, wake up. There are hurting people all around us. They don't have casts. They don't have band-aids. They might not have a "serious" diseases. But they are there - for this fleeting moment. They could be gone when you wake up tomorrow. Just like Tracey.


Photo by: Dyanna