I just received the news a couple hours ago that a family very close to my heart lost another member last night. I spent a LOT of time with the Reimans growing up, and I'm ashamed to say that I have very much lost touch with them over the years. They have had some incredibly hard knocks, much more than anyone deserves; and I am constantly in awe of their strength. Sue was like another mother to me, and with so many other kids she had to deal with (in addition to being mother to Melissa, Mesha, Melanie, Mynde, Matthew, and Micah, she was also a teacher for the majority of the time I spent with them, and had to deal with all of the kids' friends...), I didn't deserve half the attention and love she gave me.
I can remember feeling like a big brother to these kids; proud of their successes, protective when they needed, irritated by their constant bothering and bickering, hurt by their losses. Melanie was lost in an accident when I was in high school, and that was my first experience with loss of a loved one. Nothing seemed real for the longest time. Now Matthew has succumbed to cancer, and nothing feels real again. I should be finishing up my packing. I should be working. I should be doing anything but sitting here typing this. But I feel if I don't get this out I'm going to be stuck in this surreal state for longer than I can afford. I have too many things to do (more than usual), and too little time to get them done (less than normal).
I guess there's a lesson here. Actually, I know there is... Cherish the time you have. Especially the time you get with the ones you love. Don't take it for granted. I've spent entirely too much time away from the ones I love, and have let entirely too many friends slip away from me. I'll never get that time back.