So, I had a really lovely, uplifting piece scheduled to post today. I was really excited about sharing it because it is so fun and positive, a reflection of my buoyant mood of the last few days.
Unfortunately, I have had to put that post on hold. You will see it someday. But I feel as though I would have been insincere if I were to post that today, when my joyfulness has absolutely crumbled.
Here I am, at 2.20am, wide awake and in shock. After having just finished writing the afore-mentioned post and starting to ready myself for bed, less than an hour ago (yes, I am yet to master that Morning Person thing), I glanced at my phone and noticed I had been tagged on Facebook. With a sigh, I dutifully logged on to untag myself from what was destined to be a terrible photograph.
Rather than an unflattering angle, however, I was hit with something much, much worse... the chilling news that one of my best friends was the victim of a horrific car accident last night, along with her boyfriend. It's okay, they are in a stable condition - or, at least, that is what I have discerned from the local news bulletin and a Facebook status update from her sister, which is the only information I can find in these early hours of the morning. As I type, I am wringing my hands in helplessness, wishing that there was something I could do for them and their families.
I won't share the circumstances of the crash here. You don't want to know. Suffice to say that I cannot help but relive what terror she must have felt at the time of the crash, not to mention her anguish from being separated from her boyfriend after being transported to different hospitals. The thought that she, one of the loveliest people I know, has been subject to such pain, through no fault of her own, just shows how random and unfair life really can be.
Perhaps, if the universe was aligned just one inch to the left, the tragedy that occurred could have been dreadfully worse. Thankfully, my beautiful friend and her partner both seem to be okay. But what if they weren't? Incidents like these just bring home to us that life is precious... which is not just a saying we use to reassure ourselves every now and then... it's painfully true, and it should be remembered and embodied, every single day. Our lives are not something to be taken for granted, or wasted away. We have no way of knowing what is waiting for us around the corner. Often, we can be surprised by something wonderful. Sometimes, those surprises are awful. There is no way of controlling which it will be.
All we can do is clasp each and every day in both hands, cherishing it as a wonderful gift, an opportunity to be joyful and loyal and loving and true, and not allowing ourselves to harbour any regret when we close our eyes each night. And then wake up each and every morning with a full heart, grateful that we have yet another day to live and love and learn and make mistakes and be a witness all to the beauty that exists in this world. And each of those days, strung together in a continuous, but not infinite, procession, unite to compose this bizarre, heart-breaking, amazing ride we are blessed to call life.