Monday October 23rd, 2017 started out as a pretty good day for me. My mom informed me that morning that I would be able to come home for the weekend since they were not able to come up to Valparaiso to visit me for Family Weekend. Mother Nature made her monthly, albeit unwelcome, presence known right on time. I survived my 8 a.m. Theology exam and returned back to my dorm room after my 9 a.m. English class to work on some homework before lunch. Everything was going as it typically does on a Monday until 7:30 p.m. came along.
I was sitting at my desk watching Netflix on my laptop, waiting until it was time to leave for The Lighter meeting (Valpo’s student Literary and Fine Arts Journal). When the clock showed 7:30 my phone rang and my mom’s name came up on the screen. I answered right away with a “Hey, what’s up?” Then came my mom’s unstable voice when she asked, “Are you sitting down?”
My heart immediately went to my throat, thinking something had happened to my dad, my siblings, or another immediate family member. I cautiously answered with a timid “Yes, what’s wrong?…”
She then went onto tell me that my brother’s closest friend since elementary school and someone who had been like a brother to me, had passed away suddenly. I abruptly broke into sobs that wracked my body and instead of staying at my desk, I stumbled over to sit on the floor next to my bed. The tears would not stop and Mother Nature being partly in control of my hormones did not help one bit with keeping my emotions in check. I was in shock and not in shock at the same time. I definitely did not understand why it happened.
I woke up Tuesday morning with swollen eyelids from crying so much and not sleeping (thank goodness I did not have an early class). At first, I thought it had all been a dream, but one look at social media proved it was not. So of course, the rest of my week was spent trying to keep my mind off of it. I think the hardest thing was not being able to go home right away; the fact I had to wait four more days until I would be able to see my family was not sitting well with me. Luckily, I have an awesome roommate that helped me and was there for me, but it was still difficult nonetheless.
Several times throughout the week I kept thinking back to the time a couple weeks ago where I thought about messaging him, seeing how he was doing, and just checking up on him. I ended up deciding not to send any message and now I deeply regret that decision. Now, it is too late to reach out.
I know you probably hear it a lot and I know I have heard it a lot. However, I now understand more fully just how important it is. Does a thought cross your mind to message/text/call someone you have not talked to in a while? Make that thought reality. Send that message or text, make that call. None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow and no matter how sad or depressing that statement is, it is true.
Life is too short. Stop making excuses for not sending the text or not making the call. Even if the person on the other end does not respond, at least you can feel better knowing you tried to reach out.
I am not only speaking to you, dear reader, I am also speaking to myself.
So, please, stop making excuses.