I texted my daughter Emily last Saturday, “life appears more precious when death is near”. She had called me that morning to let me know that Debbie, her boss and a friend of mine, had slipped away in the night. Debbie was truly an angel on earth for the 49 young years that she lived. She encouraged me to start my own greeting card line back in the mid 90’s (the first go around of Words and Watercolors). She helped me with reps. Together we joined the NW Watercolors Society and attended meetings. When Emily applied for a job at NW Art and Frame 3 years ago, Debbie hired her. She was truly a gift and lived everyday with passion and love. She’ll be missed greatly by many. It seems unfair when someone so vibrant and vivacious, who enjoyed so much her work, her grandchild, her art and her loving husband who she married just a few short (7 or so) years ago is called so early. Thankfully, as Emily said, she didn’t linger long or have to suffer too much pain. She had bladder cancer last year. This spring/early summer after many tests they found out the cancer had spread to lymph nodes and her bones. It was mid July when they began to tell people. Just about a month later and the Angels have reclaimed her to return to their own Heavenly Host.
The odd thing is, the same week I heard about Debbie, I also heard about Maurie Ferriter. I didn’t know Moe all that well but was close to his brother Tim, who died tragically in a car accident in 1979. Also I shared the same birthday with Penny, their Mom. Penny and I have exchanged birthday cards and Christmas cards for years. Tim was one of my brother Dennis’s best friends (really a friend to all of my family). Thankfully Dennis was able to be a big help to Maurie as they both live in Ann Arbor, Mi. When Maurie went into the hospital last month with a broken leg, Dennis was there. It was in the hospital with the broken leg that they discovered there was a fast growing cancer in his body. Debbie died about 1:30 in the morning on Saturday; Moe died at 2:00 in the morning on Monday. I was in a bit of shock that both could go so fast. Moe was only 59. Also much loved and full of life. He wrote “A Friday Thought” for years. I was one of the many, many folks on that email that lifted peoples spirit each Friday with some funny joke or story that Moe would send out. He too will be missed by many.
All weekend I thought of Debbie and on Monday added Moe to my thoughts. Mark and I had prayed for their health each day, now we prayed for their families to be able to go through this difficult period with Grace and Ease. I’m not sure yet, what I’ve learned from all this save the realization that Life truly IS Precious and we need to make each day count because you never do know when your last days will be. The importance of reaching out, extending love, compassion, encouragement, inspiration and JOY daily is what comes to mind as I sit here and contemplate life.
In addition to all of the above, this will be my 100th post on my blog!?! Wordpress is pretty cool! Each time I post an entry a little sentence pops up congratulating me for the (blank) number of posts I’ve written. Wow, I thought to myself last week after I saw I had just posted #99, 100 will be next. The odd thing about that number, I had a few more people “like” my facebook page as well recently and saw that I’m at #99 there too. So next person to “like” words and watercolors on facebook will be #100. Sounds like a good milestone to me, or at least that’s how I’m going to take it!
Make every day count. Fill it with love. As Tim used to tell me (and my card “Tim’s words” states), “It’s the little things in life….”