I woke early this morning. Not because I was fully rested, but because today is a day which should not be wasted.
Four years ago today, the world lost a bright light, one that shone through my life as the brightest of friends for the 21 years prior. The one who was with me on my 21st birthday, the one who never tired of singing Vanilla Ice and playing practical jokes. Carrie was the one who was the first to congratulate me on my first pregnancy, and the first to show up, pregnant and with her own toddler in tow, to help me with baby Sam. She was that friend that never cared how long it had been, she picked right back up and kept loving you where you left off.
Carrie was the one who always helped me seize the moment, and once life stopped whizzing by and I returned to right where I was, she helped me fill that moment with laughter and deep meaning. She was the one who called me AND sent a card (always handwritten, often handmade) on Mother’s Day. When we were busy working moms, we would call one another from grocery store aisles with sleeping infants secured to our chests in Bjorns, just to tell a quick funny story, corny joke, and sometimes just to hear the other’s voice. When the baby cooed, we would coo right back. When there were tears, we knew it was time to hang up, no explanation needed.
Carrie was a minister of the present moment. She was really with you when she was with you. She often mused that she was jealous that I found such a deep professional calling in my life, and I mused right back that her ability to be joyous right where she was, even during her transient Navy wife years, was cause for much admiration from me. Together we balanced our life’s great reminders with calling and joy. Forward dreaming and presence-seeking.
The gift of today is one you will not receive again. It is worth it, then, to ask my favorite question offered first by Mary Oliver:
What is it you plan to do with this one wild and precious life?
Hug your dear ones. Go outside and breathe in that fresh chill of invigoration. Let your lungs really fill. Put your phone down and stand still in a line at the grocery store. Notice the strangers around you, really notice them, smile at them and if you can, do something to make their day brighter. Sit with a child today, listening deeply. Whatever you do, don’t forget to laugh.
Cheers to you, Carrie.