Jan 26, 2010

Remember to say I love you

For the first time in months, I had my next blog posting planned and written ahead of time. Everything was ready—all I had left to do was click publish. I'd even started to outline the next blog post. Needless to say, I was really proud of myself.

But then, this morning, things changed and I've decided to hold off on both of those posts in lieu of a tragedy.

For those that don't know, I work for the City at our community golf course. Our Parks and Rec department are some of the best in the state of Texas. We have an ice-skating rink, an event center, two indoor city pools (one a lap-pool, the other, a leisure pool with a lazy river and "crazy" slides), a state of the art gym, a 27 hole golf course, a HUGE park complete with baseball fields, soccer fields, playground equipment, and an outdoor water park. Needless to say, our maintenance workers are utterly incredible.

While all of them are great, I have always been fond of one in particular. We've talked shop, work, family—you name it. If I ever need anything, he's the one to ask. A good ole country boy, he's married with two boys, and lives about an hour out in the country. Because he works on all of the Parks & Rec buildings, I rarely get to see him, but when I do, he brings a smile to my face and I know he'll make sure to stop by and gossip with me before he moves on to his next location.

Yesterday, my coworker received a call while at work and was told to rush to the hospital. His wife, her grandmother, and his 3 year old son had been stopped, waiting to turn left across traffic. They were rear-ended and pushed into incoming traffic, where they flipped over and hit another car. His wife was killed on impact; her grandmother died at the hospital. Their 3 year old son, by the grace of God, survived and is in stable condition.
My prayers are with my coworker and his two children, and while I grieve for him and his family, I can't help but think, Oh God. In the blink of an eye, everything changed. It isn't as if he woke up that morning, knowing that his wife would die. She didn't have an expiration date stamped on her wrist, no sickness that foreshadowed death. One moment, the world was fine, and the next, everything went to shit.

God...did I tell J that I loved him before I left for work this morning? No, I didn't. I grabbed the keys off the night-stand, flipped the light switch , and slipped out.

What about my brother? Were our last words in anger? I honestly can't remember.

So when you get home tonight, make sure to tell your family that you love them. Don't even let sleep stand in your way, because death is permanent and tragedy hits everyone.

Goodnight, and God bless.  


  1. This is nothing short of tragic. We never know what going to happen. Cherish now. Love now, not tomorrow.

  2. I have tears in my eyes as I write this comment, Courtney. What a tragic story! My prayers go out to your friend and his family, and to you. I will definitely be sure to tell my family I love them tonight.

  3. Not much else to say. I'm sorry for your friend, and the impact on you.

  4. How incredibly sad. My thoughts and hopes are with him. Such a horrific tragedy.

  5. How incredibly tragic and what a horrible reminder that all we are guaranteed is right now. This moment. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.

  6. I couldn't breathe reading this. I will send them my thoughts and tell everyone I love them today.

  7. I so sorry this happened to your friend! My thoughts are for your friend and his family and, as always, for you.

  8. Courtney,

    I am so sorry, so sorry. Your words could never ring truer than this morning. My sweet, 11 year old who is such a gentle soul, had a bad morning. She was sassy and not doing what she was told. Then, she announced she couldn't find her brand new glasses. I went up to her room to help her find them and was furious at the mess that was her room. I fussed at her all the way to school. She got out of the car with a sad, quiet goodbye. And as I pulled away, the thought crossed my mind: What if that were the last time I ever saw her. I was flooded with guilt and wanted to turn my car around and call to her for a big hug and a thousand "I love you's". But, she'd already disappeared into school. Today when she gets home, I will smother her in kisses and love and tell her what a great girl she is. A messy room, in the scheme of things, is so small in this grand scheme of life.

    I will pray for your coworker, that he finds peace and healing in his grief.

  9. Wow, that really puts everything in your life in perspective. Instant reality check about how tragedy can hit in the blink of an eye. Thanks for sharing.

  10. That is awful, having someone's family wrenched away so suddenly. I am so grateful my husband wakes me to say goodbye in the morning. My thoughts go out to all involved.

  11. Oh Courtney, I really am sorry to hear that. You are so right. We NEVER know when we will be called back home with the angels.

    On a cold day in November 3rd, a little boy turned two. His daddy was severely sick but thought it was best to go back to work because he had missed about two consecutive weeks already.

    He called his wife about ten that morning, telling her he was on his way to deliver lumber for his company and all she had to do was look out her window and see his truck winding up the mountainside.

    It was five hours later the highway patrolman visited the wife, declaring her husband dead while delivering the lumber.

    He never made it to the site. He had somehow lost control of the flatbed trailer and it shifted to the side and his truck rolled.

    He never made it back home to see his baby daughter born 12 days later, nor his son's 2nd birthday nor his daughter who was only 3.

    My sister is a strong woman to endure such a tragedy and I pray every day for my family's safety.

    You are so right. We can go at any moment. I feel we should live everyday as if it's going to be our last.

    Thank you for sharing this, my heart is heavy but I will pray for your friend, his family and especially for that 3 year old--for that child will hurt all the way as does my niece who is now 8.

  12. Oh my word....

    So tragic. My heart rate accelerated reading this.

    Thank you for the reminder, Courtney. Life is just so fragile, connections severed so easily. I don't know how I'd get through something like this. I'm so sorry for your friend. How utterly devastating.

  13. Thank you all for replying.

    Elspeth- Exactly. Cherish now not tomorrow. That's perfect advise. xoxo

    Shannon- Thank you, Shannon. I know he needs all of our prayers right now. Thank you. xoxo

    DL- Thank you for thinking of him. Every good wish helps. xoxo

    Jemi- Thank you for commenting and for your thoughts. xoxo

    Rhonda- You said that beautifully. All we are guaranteed is right now. Don't wait 'til tomorrow to say I love you. Thank you for your prayers. xoxo

    Eva- Thank you, Eva. I'm glad you told your family you love them--that why I posted this. Just a reminder of how quickly we can lose what matters to us. xoxo

    Kelly- Thank you K. I love you and miss you cuz. xoxo

    Joann- I'm so glad you posted a comment. That's exactly what I had hoped my posting would do, help everyone to see what was important in life. Family and friends are all that we really have in our lifetime. xoxo

    Alan- Precisely! Life is short and tomorrow is iffy. Love with all your heart! xoxo

    Mary- I am a grumpy morning person, but this makes me want to tell my fiance I love him every time I see him, morning, noon, or night. Thanks for replying! xoxo

    Elizabeth- Oh, that's so horrible. My prayers are with your family. Thank you for posting this. It really helps us to see how precious each and every day is. Good bless. xoxo

    Carol- I don't think anyone plans for such a horrible loss. We can have previsions in place, just in case. Life insurance can help with funeral costs and such, but it can't erase the pain of losing a loved one.
    I think his two boys will help to bring him through this--otherwise, I don't know what would happen. xoxo


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