This time of year my friends and colleagues are usually incredibly festive, but 2020 has been quite a year. Rather than the usual joys and holiday cheer, a lot of people in my life are saying something to the effect of, “I’m not really in the holiday spirit this year” or, “It’s taken a lot for me to put up this tree…” or some version of that. I get it. In 2018, leading up to my wedding my brother had a severe brain aneurysm that rendered him brain dead. With his funeral scheduled two days before our wedding date there were rumblings of, “Is the wedding still on?” Raul left the decision completely up to me. I sat with it for a bit.
One day, Suzanne (my mentor at work) and I were talking. The conversation started to come to a close and before it did she checked in with me about my brother. Somewhere in my response, I said, “his funeral is on Friday and the wedding’s on Sunday” and before I could think to myself, “did I just decide that we’re moving forward with the wedding?” She said, “I’m glad to hear you’re moving forward with the wedding.” I paused and listened closely.
“Ruben, I’ve lived a very long life. In life, we will all experience more than our fair share of tragedies. They will hit us unexpectedly, in the most inopportune times, and more often than we can possibly care for. Whenever you get a moment to celebrate the joys and loves of life, take it. You never know when you’ll have that opportunity to do so again.”
And that’s exactly what we did.
If you’re feeling like many of my friends, I ask that you give this moment a second consideration.
Life is going to hit us with more than our fair share of tragedies. But right now, we get a chance to lift up our chins, smile a bit wider, take a deep breath, think about all we have to be grateful for, and take this moment — this time in our lives — to celebrate the joys and loves of life, even if it’s socially distant. So take it. We never know when we’ll have the opportunity to do so again.
I love you all.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Here’s to a fantastic 2021!