On Monday morning, I was going over plans for the day in my head. I was moving on to the plans for the rest of the week. It seemed like everything I had planned was changing. Appointments and outings were being switched from one day to another. It didn't really bother me, just challenged me to still fit everything into my "busy" retired life. My calendar was beginning to look a bit messy with all the cross-outs and arrows.
Then I got a text from one of my retirement buddies. On it she said: "Just heard that Karen Nagel died on Saturday." I stopped in my tracks. She was a building coach I worked with when I was a district coach. She was someone I looked forward to meeting with and discussing how to make her school even better. She was younger than me! How could that happen? So sudden. So shocking. So sad.
All day I received updates about details. I heard from other friends and I contacted still others. Each time we talked about the suddenness of her death. No one was prepared for that. Not her family, not her school, not her friends.
Since receiving the news, I have been thinking a lot about it. To think one moment you are fine and then gone. I think about things in my life that are important, family and friends. Once more I am reminded to take each day as a gift and make it better than the day before. I don't take being with grandkids for granted. I don't take moments of playing with my golden retriever as a bother. I take every opportunity to travel.
I have begun remembering little things my grandmother used to tell me...."Don't wish your life away." or "Time waits for no man." Or even the quote on one of my hoodies: "Life is short, Play with your dog!"
Every day I need to remember what is important and make time for it. I think William W. Purkey said it well:
You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey