This past Saturday, August 9th, it was 8 years since my cousin Amy passed away from breast cancer at the age of 41. In the final year of her life she received Monday Morning MOJO every week and loved it. We shared thoughts back and forth via e-mail many times after I would send it. This is the MOJO I wrote after she passed away on my flight back home from her memorial service. I have made a commitment to send this out as a Monday Morning MOJO every year at this time as a tribute to Amy and her life. I think there are great thoughts in this MOJO that one can never hear too often.
I walked into my home on Saturday night from one of the most emotionally draining experiences of my life.
Attending and presenting a reading at the funeral of my 41 year-old cousin, Amy.
Amy was beautiful, healthy and living the American dream. She had a storybook marriage and two beautiful daughters (12 and 14) when tragedy struck sixteen months ago.
In the words of her daughter, “It was a clear blue spring day – well, at least it was outside, because inside it was raining. We felt sadness and disbelief from the bad news. Not just regular bad news – but the kind where your life seems to fall apart in just two simple minutes. We listened closely to mother as she whispered, ‘It’s cancer,’ and immediately feelings of shock, anger, and fear rushed through us all.”
Under her tears her daughter said faintly “Just never lose faith. Nobody knows what it’s like until it happens to them. And when it’s YOUR Mom how you view the world begins to change. You look at the mountains and now see their magnificence, just as seeing my Mom smile became everything to me. I started to appreciate life so much more. During those final months we would spend time gazing at the night sky, and I treasure every day that she would say, ‘I love you more than all of the stars in the sky.’ Looking back at how it used to be, and how it would have been, and how it’s going to be without her by my side – truly it will never be the same.”
Her words I repeated over and over in my mind. It felt as though someone had shook me – forcing my eyes open to see the world for what it really it was. Forcing me to take a hard look at the ultimate truth, the truth that has the power to wake us up and make us live before it’s too late.
“Amy is gone,” the truth told me quietly, “and someday you will be, and so will all the people you love – it’s just a matter of time.”
So I ask you – are you doing what you want to do right now with your life, or are you putting off living your hopes and dreams because you think there will always be a tomorrow? If my cousin were here, she’d tell you differently, she’d say, “there will come a time when tomorrow doesn’t come, and you are wasting your time if you are not loving and laughing and enjoying your days now, while you can.”
This leaves us with a choice – we can delete this message because we find it too depressing, or we can let this message be a force that pushes us over the tipping point into the life we dream of. That is most often what it takes, something so strong it carries us past our fears and doubts and the terrors that come when we think about finally doing the things we’ve been dreaming about for so long.
Let Amy be your inspiration this morning. And realize she had a great life, doing the things she loved, with the people she loved – and she would want you to do the same.
I’ve heard it all; it’s just not possible, I’ve got obligations, responsibilities, and don’t forget the economy, and of course the – I can’t just DO what I want – I’ve got a job, bills, yada yada yada…
All those excuses mean nothing when your time comes, and who knows when that might be. All I know is the days are passing quickly and now is the time to do what YOU KNOW you need to do. Don’t put if off, or you may just be too late.
We will miss you Amy.