This past week has been hard for many of my friends. One was missing for a few days then found and airlifted to the hospital and seems like he will recover. Another friend suffered an illness during the past couple of weeks and didn’t make it.
Both of these gentlemen were funny and like all of us had their struggles. One is a professional actor/comedian while the other one could have been. Whenever I see anyone, but especially those I care about struggling it brings me to the realization of how blessed I am. Even in the worst times of my life, I was blessed. Even though I may not have thought so or felt that I was I am wise enough to know that I was.
Today I looked up the word blessings, here is what I found: noun. the act or words of a person who blesses. a special favor, mercy, or benefit: the blessings of liberty. a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness. the invoking of God's favor upon a person.
I needed this because for a long time I thought blessings were only good things. It wasn’t till I was older that I learned that sometimes things happen that seem horrible but in reality, they turned out to be blessings. We all have a story where we prayed for something and didn’t get it but later on our prayer was answered with something much better. Maybe a tragic event happened to us but after it all, we came out much better than we were.
So I had to ask, why these two gentlemen? They were kind and struggled a lot in their own ways, why them? These two men had a way of enriching our lives for the better in ways no one else has. We have friends and family that touch us in different ways. Some are there for emotional support or maybe to go out and have a good time with. Some are there for comfort while others are there just because. In today's world, we don’t always know those we call “friend” other than social media but even then they have touched us in some way.
Unfortunately, we don’t always realize how much someone means to us until their unavailable. This week there were two men fighting for survival and one made it while the other one didn’t.
My friend who made it has been dealing with issues that brought him to help others in similar situations. I met him in the entertainment industry and can tell you what a sincere heart he has. He spends his day making everyone around him laugh. He grew up in a situation of no laughing matter but here he is making us laugh and continuing to help others that are or have been where he once was.
My friend who didn’t, I have known since seventh grade. He made me laugh ever since the first time we met. We would grow to have that innocent kind of fondness. We went out with friends throughout high school and worked together in the drama club and classes. We would later catch up and keep in touch for the most part.
He always had that sparkle to make you forget about whatever was bothering you at the moment. It was a shock to lose him, many had no idea of his struggles. All I know is that we all struggle at some point in life and the most important thing is feeling that you matter to someone. There are so many times I wished I would have told someone what they mean to me even if it’s a small bit in my life.
You see, there was a time in my life where it was a truly dark time and I felt like no one cared or would even understand. I didn’t feel blessed at all. Thank you, God for having mercy on me in those times. Sometimes, the only thing that got me through it was a simple, kind word or gesture. I now understand that everything is a blessing. Just waking up to a fresh start is a blessing because I am able to understand that many didn’t get that opportunity today.
One lesson I have learned in life is that the most important thing for us all to do is to be kind to each other. Even to strangers in passing. You have no idea how one kind word or act can make all the difference in the world to someone struggling. Our actions and words have more power than we realize and we must use our power for the greater good.
Growing up my family went camping a lot. My dad loved everything about nature. One thing he instilled in us was that when you leave the campsite you always leave it better than you found it. Not the same as you found it but better. I now understand that this rule should be applied to people as well. We all have stories that we can tell of those we know and strangers as well that either dampened our day or brightened it with just a kind gesture. Maybe a smile or nod in passing. That’s all it takes for someone struggling to feel like maybe life isn’t hopeless after all. I know because like you, I have been there too.
It’s too late for me to tell some people how important they were to me but I have already started in making sure it doesn’t happen again. Remember, if God woke you up today it was his way of telling you that you have a fresh start and with his guidance, you can get through anything. All you have to do is ask and be thankful.
Today, I thank God for waking me up and finding a blessing in everything. Thank you for taking my friends’ pain away and bringing him home to you. Thank you for the amazing time we had while he was here. Thank you for guiding the search team to my other friend and allowing him the opportunity to continue the work you have for him to do.
So, I have made it a conscious effort in honor of my friends, that I want to challenge myself to do two things every day. One is to tell someone how important they were in my life at some point. The second is to make sure that I leave every being around me better than I found them even if only in passing. I hope that you can join me in my effort and maybe one day it will be us passing each other by. Wouldn’t it be great if we all treated everyone like that?