There are moments in life when we are gently reminded that nothing lasts forever; things like the loss of a job, the end of a friendship, sending our kids off to college, or moving into a new home. When these events take place, our natural reaction is to sit and ponder how life has changed. But, every now and then, there comes along a gut-wrenching, heart sinking reminder like the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Giana, and all others aboard that fatal helicopter flight that crashed on January 26th, 2020.
In moments like this, we don’t just sit and think about how life is different now. We ask why. We cry. We are flooded with raw emotion and mind-boggling questions that could never be answered. We think about our own children and shudder at the thought of losing them. Isn’t it sad how it sometimes takes a tragedy like this to draw us out of a state of complacency?
As any mother knows, it’s especially easy to get wrapped up in what we perceive to be a bad day. We rush, get frustrated, yell, and, on our worst days, we think we’re not good enough. I remember a particularly rough night that I had with my daughter. We were eating dinner in my bed. It had been a stressful week for me and I had finally gotten all the laundry done, including our sheets and comforter. Not even 10 minutes later, she spilled her drink all over the bed. I yelled at her so bad that I was embarrassed of myself. I went into the bathroom, buried my head in my hands, and cried. I couldn’t help but think that I just wasn’t cut out for motherhood. I went back into the bedroom to apologize and, without skipping a beat, she said, “It’s okay, Mama. I love you and you’re still the bestest Mommy ever.”
Much like our children, life is full of grace. It comes each morning granting us another chance to do and be better. But, death, it is relentless. It doesn’t care how old, young, rich, sick, healthy, or wealthy you are. It comes when it comes. Sometimes we get so caught up with the day to day routine, the dishes, the laundry, the emotions…the struggle. Yet, our complacency doesn’t change the fact that we, too, will one day be gone and there is no way to know how or when. Death has a somber and gripping way of driving home the reality that our most valuable possessions are not tangible things like money, cars, or clothes. It is the gift of life and the time we have with the ones we love that truly matter. It is the legacy we choose to leave behind.
So, in our journeys through motherhood and life, how do we make it a point to live like there is no tomorrow? We allow these heart-wrenching events to give us a new perspective and then we cling to it tightly with all our might. We forgive ourselves and others quickly and deeply. We become more intentional about quality time with our children and families. We shake off those seemingly bad days and press on towards the future with kindness and forgiveness because we realize that we don’t know how long any of us have here on Earth.
Every now and then, something happens in life that reminds us all that nothing is permanent. Kobe Bryant was a living legend and a truly incredible inspiration to many all over the world. In a way, I think we all felt that something like this could never happen to him. His shocking death has caused me to stop, deeply reflect, and come back into the present moment. May the impermanence of life be a constant reminder of how precious our time here truly is and may we live accordingly. Stay present, Mamas.