365 days. It seems like so many, yet flew by in the blink of an eye. If I've learned one thing over the past year, it's that any phone call in the morning or late at night from my parents is not a good thing. That night was one of those nights.
As I sat on the recliner, I felt so empty. However since then, I've learned that the pain does hurt, but it does get easier. It's more comforting to remember all of the happy times together because the memories will always be here, and you'll always be up above watching down over us all. There are some people we are blessed with in this life for only a short period of time, and some long periods, and only God can determine which it will be.
I remember the last time I saw you during the summer, the conversation we had and your big hugs. I've replayed a million times the day when you were dropping something off at my grandparents house and I happened to be there. I stood by your car window and talked with you for awhile, and as you were leaving, you gave me a hug and kissed my cheek and told me that you loved me.
Time can't erase any of the wonderful memories and life lessons I've learned from you growing up. You were a man so strong in your faith who always reminded me how believe in myself. ".. If you don't believe in yourself, then why should anyone else?" If life gets tough, I just remind myself of that little saying.
At your funeral, they read the starfish story. I have it on my desk in my room and at work, and look at it often. I want to share it with whoever is reading this, because it's a story that can make you think about the impact you can have on others lives, even if it doesn't seem like you are doing anything.
While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.
He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”
So, find your starfish, embrace difficulties, and make a difference in some way. We don't know how long we will be here, nothing in this life is our own and you never know when God will need something back that He's so graciously given to you.
We always want more time, but sometimes there's nothing we can do about it. Take a look around and tell those around you that you appreciate them, that you love them, that you're thankful for them. Things can change in the blink of an eye, and as I've learned the past year, it doesn't matter what stage of life you are in. Old and young, our time can come at any moment. When you go about your day, think of what you're doing. The world is in a scary place, and it needs people like you to make a difference in it every single day.
Find your starfish, and make a difference.