Sunday, August 14, 2011

Every Day Matters: The Importance of Living Every Day Like It's Your Last

Today was much like any other day in many ways. Tammy, Reese, Will, Hannah and I went for a walk (a little more than 2 miles) before hitting the grocery together. Later, I took Reese and Will to the Duluth square for an hour or so to splash around with a bunch of Cub Scouts and their siblings. Plus, there was the usual fights and temper tantrums. These were pretty typical events for a Saturday. However, I appreciated all of it (even the fights and temper tantrums) more today than usual.

Brenna Jo and Charles Thomas.

And the reason why is really heartbreaking. Before I did anything else this morning, I logged into Facebook and found a message from one of my cousins that another cousin had passed away last night. She was pregnant, and they were unable to save her baby either. Her husband found her in the bathtub.

I have to admit I didn't know Brenna Jo Thomas as well as some of my other cousins, but I knew her well enough from family reunions and through limited contact on Facebook that she was a very devoted wife and a happy spirit. She was beautiful, active, and leaves behind two young children and a husband, who has to be devastated and in shock right now.

News like this, especially to someone so young and kind, is bound to shake any person. But in my search for more details as to what happened, I saw that my cousin Sarah (who broke the news) was already turning her attention in the correct direction: "This day has definitely reminded me how precious life is. ... Tell those you care about how much they mean to you! I love you all!"

There's no way to make complete sense of children losing their mother, a husband losing his wife, and parents losing their child. It's a tragedy. But at the same time, we can only move in one of three directions: forward, backward, or not at all. I encourage everyone to use each day to move forward--even if just a little bit.

Take my cousin's advice and let people know every day how much you appreciate them. Be happy that they're alive. Be thankful that you're alive. Do what you can to enjoy your life and make the world a better place.

Will, Reese and Tim (one of my Cub Scouts) earlier today.

Today was much like any other day for me, and I am so thankful I was able to experience it.


While I did not write this poem for my cousin Brenna, I couldn't help thinking of it while I was going throughout my day today. Please send prayers, good thoughts, and whatever else you can to Brenna's family and her parents, who are all having to deal with this tragic situation.

I think the world is a pin cushion

There's a space between everyday matters
that makes someone feel every day matters,
a breath or sigh in the darkness. We surround
our time with excuses and distractions, bind
those we love with commitments when we should be
splashing around in dark puddles while the rain
covers us in nothing more than what it is.


Anonymous said...

Robert, I'm so terribly sorry to hear this. My prayers go out to her husband and children, as well as your family. Today was difficult for me in so many terribly trivial ways, and perspective is a healthy, healthy thing.

Love this: "when we should be/splashing around in dark puddles while the rain/covers us in nothing more than what it is.

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Yes, it's so easy for me to get distracted by small problems. Then something like this comes along and reminds me what's really important: my amazing friends, family and wife.

Unknown said...

I am so sorry for your family and the loss of this woman- it is so sad! You are right to be grateful, as are we all.

Thanks for the reminder,sad though it is.

Brandee Shafer said...

Dear Heavenly Father: What a shock it is to lose family members suddenly and without warning: especially when they are young. I pray Your peace that passeth all understanding for Brenna Jo's husband, children, parents, and everyone who loved her and is reeling, right now, and fighting to process. I pray for these precious ones to find the support they need to move forward in a healthy way. Thank You for Robert's perspective. And thank You for being good in all circumstances and situations. In Your name I pray, Amen.

Patricia A. Hawkenson said...

Definitely a tragedy. Prayers to your whole family. Hugs are in order - all around.

Poetic Bloomings said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, Robert. Brandee, above, prayed such a simple and loving prayer. I'll just add my sincere "amen." And Robert, your poem ... simply one of your best.

Marie Elena

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

Sorry for your family loss.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE your poem and needed it more today than perhaps ever before. Thank you and my prayers go out to your family.

S.E.Ingraham said...

Robert - such heart-breaking news ... and yes, a wake-up call to each of us to live each day as if it might be the last for who really knows? My heart aches for you and yours, especially your young cousin's family as they struggle to make sense of this and find peace. Be good to yourself.

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Thank you, everyone.

Dr. Pearl Ketover Prilik (PKP) said...

Dear Robert, It is so easy to distract ourselves with mundane matters while the truly significant sparkling passions of our lives are shelved ' until later'. The time for living, loving and appreciating life is in this and every moment... Sometimes it takes the profound suddenness of the end of another's opportunity for love, laughter and feeling to have all the other nonsensical trappings fall away and leave the glowing nugget of gratitude and appreciation. With love for you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Robert, I've read your beautiful comments about Brenna Jo and you have described her exactly as she was. Brenna was vivacious, energetic, the most loving mother and wife, who stopped at nothing to express that love. She was beautiful and a friend to every one she met. We still miss her to this day.
From Enon, Ohio