Life is fleeting. You never know what could happen. I was reminded of this statement more than ever this past weekend. A colleague of mine, a wonderful man and father, a great attorney who died suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday. At the age of 38. From a heart attack. He got up in the morning, kissed his wife and kids, and headed to the gym, and he never came home.
I only knew Dan as an acquaintance and colleague. He was one of three new attorneys who came to town when I started practicing in Columbus. He was a super nice guy, which I have to say is unusual in the line of work I'm in. (It's true, I'll admit it.) I left Columbus and came back, and he was practicing in several counties, but still taking cases on a volunteer basis from our office. Just a great guy.
I cannot imagine the shock and pain his wife is in and experiencing. I cannot imagine what she had to tell her little girls that afternoon. And it's so unfair. It's just not right. They had no idea it was coming. He had chest pains that week, and he had gone to the doctor, leaving with a clean bill of health. He was young, active, and otherwise healthy.
I have to say as soon as I read about it in the paper, it hit way too close to home. Not just because it was someone with whom I was quite familiar, but because he was so close to my age. And reading the word "heart." Yeah, it hit close to home.
I'm not sure if I'm the only one who is like this, but a lot of us out there have that invincibility complex. "It wouldn't happen to me." Or "oh, it's fine because I'm healthy. I take care of myself." With a heart defect, people often look at me and say "you chose this field of work? Why?" I don't keep my stress in check. I push myself too hard. And I think it's okay. I look at T and I see him doing the same thing. I'm always on him to be healthier, eat better. It's one of the reasons why I lost 30 pounds. For my health. But I still push myself. I still feel my heart racing at work when I'm overwhelmed with work. But I have a daughter and a family. Just like Dan, and the thought of leaving Aubrey without a Mommy kills me.
T and I have talked about giving Aubrey a brother or sister. It's what I want, but the more I think about it at times, I don't know. Can my body take that stress again? My heart was just fine. I survived the chance of my aorta rupturing. Came out just fine, but is it worth spinning the wheel again? For Aubrey's sake?
There is no rhyme or reason. And I'm not writing this to depress anyone who regularly reads my blog. I am just using this as a forum to express my feelings to process it all. How often is it that I run out the door, giving T and Aubrey a quick peck and I love you and just leave? What if it were the last time? I know it's a morbid thought, but it happens. It did this weekend.
In doing The Love Dare throughout Lent, I am taking time to truly appreciate the life I have, the partner I have in T. I want to choose to recognize these blessings more than focus on the stress. We all really should do this. Appreciate life, what we have. Because you just never know.
Because it all can change in the blink of an eye.