Again it strikes. The quote we hear is something like "Only the good die young." Well, Billy Joel, that's crap. Good people die at all ages. The problem is that we don't understand death-particularly senseless death at an early age. We also hate that we didn't get to spend that extra day or moment with that person before it was too late. We didn't get to make sure they knew we loved them by telling them again-or perhaps it is more our conscience that makes us so uncomfortable with death. When we have plenty of time, WE can act senseless and not be as considerate as we should. WE can pass up the chance to maybe make a difference in someone's life, because after all, when we are young, we think have nothing but time.
My Sweet, Little Cousin,
You have gone to be with the angels. I believe you are there. We talked of God, even as kids. We had some debates back and forth, but you loved with the kind of love-despite your circumstances-that gives me the peace that you are safe and in heaven now. You are up there and hopefully have already met up with your Daddy and my Grandma and are giving them both grief-because that is one of the many things you were so good at...
I miss the innocent days when we would spend our holidays and summers out of school together. You and your little brother and me and my siblings wrestling in the basement, having slime wars in the river, staging games in the woods, and generally wreaking havoc on our Grandmas' ideas of "proper behaviors". I remember so many car rides where we were all grounded with the exception of the "perfect younger kids" for picking at one another. So many memories with your crazy huge smile and your squinty-eyes with your premature crow's feet. So many good memories.
You had the most positive attitude of any kid I've ever met. The struggles you endured at a young age didn't break you. You were exposed to a cruel world before most children are even in school and you responded with a smile. You were a lover of people and wanted to make situations better. You were a rock for so many people and your passing will be felt across the country. Reading the messages from your fellow Marines breaks my heart because you had clearly touched and challenged so many people to be greater than their circumstances. You made life fun and more enjoyable. You were a bright light and a joy to be around.
Jason, I regret not having spent more time around you. I regret not calling you to tell you how much I
love you. Jason, your passing is teaching me things and pushing me to be better. Even outside of this world, you are still inspiring greatness.
Jason, I don't want to wait until people are gone to tell and show them how much they mean to me. I don't want the many positive characteristics you possess to be buried with you. I want to be more loving and more positive about unchangeable circumstances. I want to live without regret. People so often love life and hate death, but I wonder-is it the beautiful lie that life can be and the ugly truth that death reveals?
Thank you for living your life out loud and being unashamed. Thank you for making a decision to not be bitter. Thank you for continuing to love. You will be missed. The ripple effect of your life will be felt by others in years to come because of the choices you have made to love.
I love you,
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The un-lived and wasted life is a much more disastrous outcome. We have a limited amount of time on this earth and each of our decisions will effect others for better or worse. Each is but one person with one life. We each have just as much time in the day as did Abraham, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, and Ronald Reagan. The question remains, What will we do with the time that we are given?? It is a gift but also a responsibility.