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We don’t know how long we’ll be blessed with someone’s presence and where our paths may lead. I’ve come to believe that losing someone you love ranks near the top of “Life’s Hardest Obstacles” list. In my twenties, I was focused more on making something of myself and providing a decent life for my son than taking the time to spend with my parents. Reality suckerpunched me in the gut at the age of twentyfour when my dad suddenly passed away from a heart attack. No warning. Just…gone. Not even one more day with him.

More than a dozen years later and I can still hear Mom’s frantic phone call from that night. Dad had collapsed in the kitchen and she performed CPR on him until medical personnel came to take him by ambulance to the hospital. I hung up the phone and bawled, begged and pleaded, “Oh dear God, please don’t take my dad.

Please, please, please don’t take my dad.

I’m so sorry for everything I’ve ever done.

Just please don’t take my dad.” It didn’t work, Dad was already gone. God’s plan was already in place, something far too complicated for me to understand.

Even after several years have passed the pain still stings. Those who have gone through it understand the void a loss like that leaves behind. I remember his hugs.

Though he didn’t look like the kind of man that looked like he hugged and said “I love you,” fortunately he was. Those were the best hugs and though I thought every one of them was silly at the time, I’d give anything now for just one more.

If there’s one positive thing that came out of his passing, it’s a lesson in living in the moment. Smile. Hug. Be grateful for every single minute. Say “I love you” and mean it. Make love contagious. Let your guard down a little, open yourself up to doing things from the heart. With so much coldness in the world, let your heart provide the warmth around you. I know it’s cliché, but what if tomorrow really doesn’t come? We can’t be certain that it will. Live and love with no regrets. I love you, my friends. Pass it on. xoxo