I'm sorry, I ran out of time before Yom Kippur to wish everyone a G'mar Chasimah Tovah, and though part of me feels this is somewhat foolish, I wanted to ask everyone for mechila (forgiveness) for any wrongs I may have said, thought, or done - and to tell everyone I forgive for any slight in return, though I am not aware of any.
I had also wanted to post this hastily written, yet powerful thought from my sister-in-law, with some slight additions of my own:
Yesterday I went to the funeral of my father's cousin's wife. A woman in her 40's. This is happening much more often, isn't it? Everyone knows a few families. There are things we know, but the shock of a tragic death often helps transport it from mind to heart. First, how important it is to accomplish now, because we never know when it's going to be our time to pass on. And our deeds in this speck of world is all that decides our eternity. (Reminds me about the famous shtetelian legend about the poor guy who went to the land of diamonds only to mistakenly return home with a ship full of chicken fat.) Also, out of this morbidity can come joy. Every day you have a family, appreciate it. Every day you feel healthy, appreciate it. Imagine what life would be like without it. It isn't coming to us.Sadly, much of the theme in Lander the past number of weeks has been death. For the second time in just 3 months, a fellow student was taken from this world - just an hour or so before one of the Rebbeim was to give a speech to the students l'zchus refuah shleimah for him [for the merit of a speedy recovery]. The first, Zavil Pearlman, who - despite a sickness since birth, which, although I was pretty friendly with him, I never knew about until just before his passing - had one of the largest smiles I've ever seen on a constant basis, and was 19, I believe. Shmuel Auman was 22 [?], and left behind not only grieving parents and siblings, but a wife and child as well.
Earlier this summer, a good friend's mother, and one of my old rebbeim's wives, was killed in a car crash. The Keren Devorah link to the left can tell better stories of her life - and passing - than I ever could. All of these tragedies remind me of a friend's away message, which although I can't see now, Orthomom had a post similar to it recently:
To realize the value of one year
Ask a student who has failed his final exam.
To realize the value of one month
Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one day
Ask a daily wage laborer who has ten kids to feed.
To realize the value of one hour
Ask a couple waiting for the wedding ceremony.
To realize the value of one minute
Ask a person who has missed the train.
To realize the value of one second
Ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realize the value of one millisecond
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Use every moment wisely, it is a divine gift.
Savor the moment. As Layah said:
It isn't coming to us.
It isn't coming to us.
Technorati tags: Life, Appreciation, Every Second Counts, Yom Kippur.