When my father passed away, everyone was at home. Odd, considering that both my younger sister and I were in college at the time. In fact, it happened right before summer - the first summer I wasn't going to be living at home. But, in some twist of fate, the previous tenants of the apartment I was renting couldn't be out by their move date, so they split the month with me. They stayed in the apartment and I went home (since I still had that ability).
With that, my two roommates and I headed to my parent's house for a few days. And on the second day of our visit, it happened. My father unexpectantly passed of a cardiac event in his sleep.
I don't think this is coincidence. I was supposed to be there. I was supposed to be the one making those dreaded calls to our family members. Not the one receiving it.
From that moment on, I have never questioned fate. I have never left angry. And I have never ended an interaction with the people I love, whether over the phone or face-to-face, without saying, "I love you." It's too important not to. I want the people who matter to me to know that they matter to me. Because if nothing else, you never know if it is the last time you will get the chance to tell them.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because we're closing a chapter in our lives. Maybe it's because someone else is. Maybe it's because I crashed my bike and it could have ended so much worse. Maybe I just needed a reminder. Who knows?
The reason doesn't really matter. All that matters is that the message is clear ...