If Today Was Your Last Day

Life is so short. We don’t know when we will die. We come into the world alone, and we leave the world alone. Our births and deaths happen when they will. We don’t remember what it was like before we were born, and we don’t know what will happen after we die, but we do contemplate our deaths. If today was your last day, what would you do?

“My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day’s a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride
If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had, if today was your last day?
What if, what if, if today was your last day?” Nickelback
     We should all live our lives like today is our last day because it might be. Sometimes it takes tragedies like today’s massacre in Colorado or the deaths of friends and loved ones to make us stop long enough to think about it.  I was especially moved by the story of Jessica Ghawi, an aspiring sports journalist who lost her life in the shooting. She had an intuitive feeling to leave a food court in a mall just a few minutes before a gunman open fired there. That was just a few weeks ago, and she wrote an article about the shooting and the effects it had on her. It made her realize the fragility of life and the truth that we never really know when we might take our last breaths. Seeing her pictures and hearing her stories, I got goosebumps. It made me think of those Final Destination movies (where there may be forewarning of an impending unavoidable death). It makes me wonder if our ‘time’ is predestined or if it is all a matter of coincidence or free will.  All we really have is this moment, today.  Tomorrow is never promised.  We have big ideas like bucket lists of wonderful trips to take before we die, but do we take the time to mend minor fences and to love people unconditionally each and every day? If today was your last day, would you be ready to venture into the great beyond? Would you feel at peace with your life? Would you have any unfinished business?
President Obama said today is a day for prayer and reflection. This is my reflection:
Why do people kill people?
Why do bad things happen to innocent people?
Am I living today like it’s my last day?
What unfinished business do I have?
And this is my prayer:
Dear universe,
Thank you for another day of life on this precious earth with my family.  Please bring peace and strength to all the people suffering today and every day because of the loss of their loved ones. Be with the souls of the victims and bring healing to the world.
Imagine all the people living life in peace.”  John Lennon

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