It was a wake-up call.
As I write this it is the wee hours of the morning”¦the morning after the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere you certainly know what I am referring to and I’m not about to recap the events because, as it is, I am working hard to try and not let them overtake my mind, and my heart.
But I could not sleep all night, and when I did sleep, it was not peaceful. When I woke up I wanted to believe that it was a dream, a nightmare, a fabric woven by my fears, or as Charles Dickens once put it, -“¦an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato.”
But it is real; the events did take place.
When I hear of things like this I think about how many people short sell themselves by not embracing all that is wonderful in this world; all that allows us to pamper ourselves and our loved ones.
I think about how many of us who “get it” are looked upon like we have a third eye when we tell our friends we are going back to Walt Disney World or Disneyland to see Mickey and friends”¦for the 10th time in the last three years”¦. or perhaps for the 50th time in our lives.
Oh sure, we hear the snickers”¦we catch a look at the eyes rolling”¦. but at the same time, instead of feeling angry”¦or embarrassed”¦. we feel a sense of sorrow for those who don’t understand”¦who don’t realize how fragile life is”¦. or how important it is to experience tears of joy”¦instead of the tears we all shed while we listened to news reports out of Connecticut. Or in my case, tears that continue to hit my keyboard as I write these thoughts.
We don’t have much time on this rock we call Earth”¦. our time is not enough to embrace all the wonders that life brings. But when we do embrace life; we fold into that embrace those we love, those we want to share those happy, carefree times with; and most importantly ourselves.
Those moments are all too few; all too precious.
You’ve heard the phrase that “Youth is wasted on the young.” That thought originated from a mature mind who realized late in life just how important it is to celebrate life whenever possible; to stop and smell the roses so to speak; and to ride Space Mountain as much as they can.
There will be a day when they won’t be able to ride Space Mountain; when they wont be able to cool their parched throat with a Dole Whip; when they won’t be able to wonder at the colors of illuminations. Most importantly”¦not be able to hug their loved ones and tell them how much they love and appreciate them.
For those of us who “Get it” we understand how important it is for us to take time out from work, priorities, chores, and things that dominant our lives each and every day to work towards giving ourselves those special and precious moments with friends and family”¦. moments that warm our hearts, make us smile, and etch into our minds a pleasant memory that will last a lifetime.
During this holiday season I think it’s time to pray for so many people”¦for those who were touched by the events in that small town in Connecticut”¦and for those who don’t get it. In both cases there is a loss”¦. in both cases we need to feel for these people”¦. in both cases we, those of us who do get it, are reminded of how fragile life is”¦while at the same time also remember how wonderful life can be.
Don’t waste your time. Appreciate your family”¦. appreciate your life. Help those who are less fortunate than you”¦laugh as much as possible”¦. hug your loved ones every time you get a chance. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?
And if you are one of those who do “Get it” I am sure the next time you have an opportunity to visit a certain mouse, duck and other friends in Orlando or Anaheim it will mean a bit more to you to see your child hop a bit as she spots Mickey waving to her from his perch on a parade float, or you feel a sense of peace while sitting around a bench in World Showcase lagoon”¦or as I said earlier”¦enjoying that Dole Whip.
Like the latter, life is a treat that should not be ignored before it’s too late.
For those of you who “Get it””¦congratulations and your journey through life will, I’m sure, continue with the sights and sounds that were made possible from a man who said, “It’s fun to do the impossible.”
For those who do not get it”¦maybe horrific events like what happened in Connecticut will bring to the surface the realization that they need to celebrate life each day”¦and to celebrate their loved ones and what they bring to their lives.
I should be happy during this Christmas season and I know that eventually the spirit of Christmas will serve as a medicine for what ails me”¦a heavy heart for those who unfortunately must now endure a holiday season that will be forever stained by memories that will overtake their minds and hearts for the rest of their lives.
It’s a wake-up call to everyone and that includes yours truly.
We need to appreciate everyone we love and care for each other each and every day”¦and of course, to appreciate the opportunity to visit that special place where talking mice and ducks live”¦a place that helps us smile, laugh, and forget our troubles.
So let me practice what I preach and say to all my relatives, friends, and especially you who have read me for so many years, I appreciate and love each and every one of you and wish you the best during this holiday season.
I also ask that you send your thoughts and prayers to a small town in Connecticut”¦I haven’t stopped.
I am reminded of one more quote from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It was, -No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.”
Let’s hope more people “Get it.”