I haven't posted for awhile, and it is because this one has been sitting in my drafts and I was having trouble deciding if I should publish it or not. But... it is a part of life, so here goes. (written last October) There was a recent event in my life that has led me to look at the big picture of where I am and where I want to be. We never know what tomorrow brings, or if we will even be here to enjoy it. Life can change in a heartbeat. We worry about the future, plan for it, save for it, and it may never come. We need to live each day true to ourselves and go to bed with no regrets. This past month has brought me to a point where I have really sat down to think about my life. My aunt was killed in a random shooting event in the government facility where she worked, and that triggered some of the assessment. But even before that, I was looking at my life and what is really important and had to re-adjust a few things. It is the people, the relationships, the memories, not the things, that make all the difference. We took a family vacation in Carlsbad, CA, where we go every year. This year I enjoyed it more than usual. We all played on the beach and in the water, ate together, good friends went with us… in short, it was amazing. Our last morning I was standing on the beach with the 4 kids looking out at the ocean with an ache in my heart. I really didn't want to leave. I don't think it was the beach as much as what this week represents. Time together as a family, no obligations, no plans(other than one day at Sea World), reading together at night, wake up and eat breakfast together in the morning. It was so refreshing. I realized I want that everyday, and will do what I can to make it happen. On the second day of our drive home, we learned my Aunt was in the building where the shooting had happened. As we drove all day, I kept checking in with family members for news. Nothing. Finally at about 8pm, we were still about 2 1/2 hours from home, I got the call. My mom confirmed what we had all been fearing the whole day. I sat in the back and cried with the kids. They hadn't even met her, but to think an Aunt, a mother, in our family had died was very sad. And each birthday and Christmas they had always gotten a card from her. Tough conversations came out of that, and like I do every day, I prayed that I say the right things to our children, to keep them on the right path and make them moral and virtuous human beings. Life is precious. Life is tenuous. There are no guarantees, and we must live each day with no regrets. There is some little life force- the soul, we call it - that turns a body into a life. I see it so often in my work, in life, and on the farm. Yesterday we had a yak in labor and were excited about the baby. Later in the day the mom was up and eating, but no baby to be seen. We searched the pasture and came upon a tiny, cold form. It was perfect. Little head, little ears, little hooves, tiny tail. But it was still. That little force that cannot be defined was not there. It was an empty body, anatomically the same as the little one standing next to it out there, but minus the animation, the personality, the life. That drove home the point God has been making in my life this past month. Each day is a step on our journey. We have no idea where this journey goes or how long it will take. We have no idea what will happen along the way. We can make plans, but at any given moment those can be torn from us in a tragedy or turned into something beautiful and wholly unexpected. You just don't know, you just have to live each day to the fullest, with no regrets. P.S. When we got home from that beach trip, there in the mailbox, was a birthday card from my Aunt.
Susie (and sometimes Jeff) Hirsch, parents, vets, small scale ranchers, and regular people, who must have a sense of humor to survive!