My cousin Patrick died in a car accident this week. He was only 35 years old. Today, June 16, 2012 he was buried. I’ll never again get to see him in this life. It hurts me tremendously even though I know he’s in a better place. I get on Facebook, and pictures and statuses about Pat are trending. It seemed like everyone in my hometown of Bassfield, MS was at the church today for his homegoing celebration. But I wonder if these same people, including me, let him know just how much he was loved? I wonder if he remembered all the times we spent together, the kind of impact he had on my life, on everybody’s life that he touched? See, Pat was a big old ball of happiness, goofiness, and smiles. ALL THE TIME! When you saw him, out and about, the first thing you’d see is his pearly white 32’s. Then he’d embarrass you by screaming out some kind of elementary school pet name for you, all the while grabbing you in a smothering bear hug. Every. Single. Time. He didn’t just treat me this way either. He made everyone he came in contact with feel like the only person in the world that mattered. He didn’t see color. Black, white, green, purple, he just saw the person, and he liked who you were. Pat was never a rich man, monetarily, he worked every day of his life, from High School, up until the day he died. But, Pat left a legacy. He touched everyone with his way, his selflessness, his love.
Time is so precious. We forget that we don’t have forever. Big cousin’s death was a wake up call for me. I’ve spent far too much time and energy being angry and holding grudges, and life is much to short for that. If I die and don’t get the chance to say I’m sorry to someone I’ve wronged, or accept the apology of someone who wronged me, then all that I do, all that I have done to be this “Better Sonya” would have been all in vain. Each and every person is important enough to love “in spite of.” Someone out there loves me “in spite of” simply because their love for God and His commandments, are more important than a grudge. We have this one life to live. Let’s not waste it creating grief. Tomorrow isn’t promised, I realize that. I want my legacy to be one of love, and joy, and I’ll live my life, one moment at a time, being grateful that God has blessed me to be a part of yours.
To you, you, and you: I apologize to you. I love you. I’m grateful for you. I’m blessed to know you. You are a gift to me. I am better because of you.