Too many times I've responded, "Sorry, son. I'm just too busy." Not today. Today, I thought for a moment. Today, I decided that 10 years from now it won't matter at all if I got to those overdue emails, but it very well could matter if I spent more time with my kids. So today, I played ball.
Today, a good man passed away. A friend. Not a close friend, but someone I had come to know and respect. The father of one of Taylor's and Parker's longtime basketball teammates. He was hit while riding his bicycle and died instantly. His name was Bryan Byrge, and here is a link to an article about him.
Today I looked at each of my kids and was grateful for the time I have with them. In 2004 my little sister, Tiffany passed away. She was in a car accident and died instantly. I miss her. A few years before that, she wrote an email to our family. Written just two days after the 9/11 attacks, it was her reflection on what is important in life. Here is a copy of that email:
From: "**Tiffany Rose**" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 5:10 PM
To: Jeremy M Green;
Subject: Fwd: Recent Remarks from Pres. Hinckley
I'm not sure if you've read this or not, but I thought I'd pass it along. It's a copy of Pres. Hinckley's remarks at the memorial service, for the victims of Tuesday's tragedy. I've had trouble comprehending how anyone could justify an act so deadly. Reading the words of our prophet has brought a little more comfort to my thoughts. As I'm sure we will be warned at conference next month, the end is near. With life ending so quickly for thousands in NY this week, I've found myself trying to live each day as if my tomorrow will never come. I realize it's not as easy as it seems--I'm still making mistakes. However, I begin each day with new goals and resolutions in mind that will make me a better person. It's rather sad that it takes an incident as terrifying as this to make us, or at least me, appreciate life and all my blessings to the fullest.
This past year, I've taken a number of flights [to] California. With this in mind, the past few days I've tried to imagine what it would be like if suddenly one of my flights had been hijacked. What would I have said if I was given the chance to make one last phone call to the people I love? Well, I'm not on a plane right now facing death. I'm at work...doing nothing.:) Regardless, I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you all how much I love you. I don't know if my tomorrow will come, so I've decided to take Garth Brook's advice and "tell that someone that you love, just what you're thinking of...if tomorrow never comes."
I realize that sometimes I get caught up in my busy schedule of three jobs--it's hard for me to break away from my familiar routine. However, don't ever think I've forgotten about any of you. I know you're there and appreciate the little things you do. Take mom for example, who's willing to stay up at any hour to help her children out. Such as hem a skirt for me, review my resume, or iron an outfit I need in ten minutes. When I come home at midnight, after working two jobs in one day, I'll find yogurt coupons or my vitamins on my dresser. Seeing these in my room brings a huge smile to my face. Little acts of kindness from mom let me know just how much she loves me.
And then there's dad, who's been working such long hours lately. He's always there to answer my questions regarding "adult matters.” Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the "stuff" I'm suddenly supposed to know about credit cards, insurance, and cars. Dad is always there with the answers. Quoting from our favorite family movie, (It's a Wonderful Life), "Ask Dad...He Knows."
My point is, I appreciate and love all of you. I can't picture our family without any of us in it. I'm looking forward to this Christmas when we'll all be together. I love hanging out and laughing our heads off. I love recalling old memories with each other.
I am thankful for all of you. I am thankful each of us is alive and well.
I love you,
I'm so grateful that Tiffany had the foresight to send that email. I pray that I will be wise enough to always remember just how fragile life can be. That I will always interact with others in a way that I would be at peace with if tomorrow never did come. I'd like to close this post with a part of the remarks Tiffany referenced in her email. These are words from President Gordon B. Hinckley, a man whom I believe with all my heart was a modern day prophet of God:
"But dark as is this hour, there is shining through the heavy overcast of fear and anger the solemn and wonderful image of the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace, the exemplar of universal love, and it is to Him that we look in these circumstances. It was He who gave His life that all might enjoy eternal life.
"May the peace of Christ rest upon us and give us comfort and reassurance and, particularly, we plead that He will comfort the hearts of all who mourn and ask it in His holy name, even the name of Jesus Christ,