I celebrated my birthday yesterday. I took the day off and did nothing. Doing nothing is something that I rarely do. Like many other people, my life is a crazy mix of responsibilities. I celebrate my birthday by being selfishly focused on down time. It helps keep me sane.
I will forever remember this birthday not so much of what I did not do, but for how my day ended. Late in the evening we got one of those phone calls that we all dread. A family member, a beloved aunt from my wife's side of the family, passed away unexpectedly while on vacation in New Zealand. It was a tragic loss.
I had known my aunt for over 30 years. In that time she had always shown me and my family love and compassion. She was a constant fixture in our family and a hardworking inspiration to us all. I sit here today, a day later, and marvel at the injustice of it all. She was much to young and healthy to die. Life is unfair. I feel cheated.
I am not comforted by thoughts of heaven or an afterlife. Instead, I am comforted by my family. We are a rock. Last night reaffirmed this. I like to say, family first and family always. At times like this, family carries me though.
Death comes for us all. None among us are immune. Give your loved ones a hug. That's all I've been doing since I got the news.