My co-worker died. Not the neighbour I mentioned last week, a teacher at my school. Some of what happened was lost in translation (Japanese is my 5th language - it happens). But from what I can piece together, he was driving through a tunnel, and rear-ended by a truck, and his teeny-tiny sports car burst into flames.
When I think about this teacher, I remember him smiling. I remember him playing the guitar at the district school staff social clubs' social (if that makes any sense). Each of the teachers are assigned to be responsible for a club. Other than the band, it's really all admin work - making sure there's a bus for the tournaments, and the uniforms are all the right sizes - but he actually went to practices and played right alongside the kids. Only he and the naginata teacher would be walking around in their team uniforms on evenings.
Having two deaths so close together has wreaked havoc on my mind, but in the midst of all the morbid, I keep thinking of this as a reminder to live.
Last week at my neighbour's funeral, pretty much all the important people in town spoke about his involvement in so many things. I came away from the funeral thinking, "Wow! He lived!" I don't know the maths teacher that well, but he seemed like the kind of guy that really jumped into anything he was involved in.
And that's what's on my mind this Monday. If you were to know the split second before that death was coming, would a laundry list of things you hadn't done pop up in your mind? I'm not talking about a Bucket List of grand gestures like climbing Mount Fuji or going to India. I'm talking about the little things. The things you can do this year. The things you can do every day.
Would you wish you'd smiled more? Gotten more involved? Worked less? Worked harder? Spent more time with family? Learned to surf? Worn more purple?
What would you wish, if the moment was now? And if you'd wish it, and it's attainable, why aren't you doing it?
After all, tomorrow isn't guaranteed.
Live ya life.
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