Today, I am simply thankful to be able to hug my youngest child and know that she is sleeping safely in our house. My oldest daughter is half a world away, but thanks for Facebook, Gmail, and Skype I can at least see and chat with her.
The reason I’m so thankful to simply be able to hug my child is because life is so very, very fragile and fleeting. This week in central PA, eight young people lost their lives in terrible car accidents–both in the afternoon right after school and within a 24 hour span of time. Five students were from the same high school in New Oxford, and the other three were members of the same family. The community is numb.
Over 5,000 teens age 16-20 are the victims of fatal car accidents each year in the United States. When your child heads out the door to school you don’t think it could be the last time you will see her. Yet we never know. We only have the promise of the present moment.
My heart aches for the parents of these eight young men and women. I can only imagine their pain. For now, for this day and this moment, I am among the lucky ones, but the reality is that could change in an instant.
No matter how much you are irritated by what your children may or may not do, be sure to tell them you love them every time they leave your presence. Never take their lives for granted. They are precious. Life is precious. Part of thanks-living is always remembering just how fleeting and fragile our existence really is. Hug your child. Kiss your spouse. Tell your parents how much they mean to you. Remember your friends and tell them how important they are.
Photo by Julie McLeod used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!