January 2, 2010

Time to Change Course

Photo courtesy of coloradoguy.com

On December 28, 2009, one of my aunts was killed in a car crash (I refuse to use the term “accident” because a witness to the incident stated that the other driver intentionally ran a red light). Obviously this was unexpected, and over the last week I’ve begun to view life differently.

My aunt had a habit of focusing on the positive above all else, and going above and beyond in an effort to care about people, no matter who they were or even how well she knew them. To call her an active member in her church would have been an understatement; she not only participated in almost every organization that her church had, but in one case she took the initiative to begin a children’s assistance group when none existed but was needed.

Her day job was a hospice counselor, and a day after she was killed we received word that she had touched the life of a cancer patient who had no family left. She sent him a Christmas card and our family learned that it was the only Christmas card that he received this season. For him, my aunt gave him a sliver of happiness while he himself waited for the end to come. He wanted us to know that that one little Christmas card gave him something to smile about this holiday season and for that he was grateful.

My aunt’s death forced me to take a look at my own life, how I’ve lived it, what I’ve accomplished, and with whom I’ve accomplished things. Her death forced me to not only realize that I really have accomplished very little in my 33 years in this world, but that an end to this life can come at any moment, in the blink of an eye.

I came to the realization that it’s time to change a few things in my life. To a certain degree, now that I look back on things—and especially the last ten years or so—I have, unfortunately, become rather stagnant.

What’s positive, however, is that this can change at any moment. What’s more, I want this change to come about because I feel the need to do so. I feel the need to embrace life a bit more, create more, and live more. I need to focus on the positive the way that my aunt did. I need to do more because I want to do more.

The minister who gave the eulogy was a family friend and he made a comment which hit me over the head like a ton of bricks: A life shouldn’t be measured by the number of years between the year of birth and the year of death on a headstone; a life should be measured by what that little dash in between the two years symbolizes.

It’s time for me to start packing more into my little dash than what I have up to this point.

This might be my last post on this blog. I’ll no doubt continue to write in some way, only because I love writing. I might want to start over in some other way, though. I might want to take my writing in directions that I haven’t done before or in ways that I haven’t done in many years.

I’m also planning on engaging in new endeavors that will be positive in terms of creativity and in terms of allowing me to hold onto memories of experiences and people which should not be forgotten.

Looking back on all three blogs that I have under my Chase Edwards Cooper pseudonym, they date back to January 2006. I’ve been through a lot since that time, both positive and negative. Every single experience that I’ve been though, and every single person that I’ve had contact with since then has had some kind of influence on me—some good and some bad. The bottom line is that all of it becomes part of my life experiences.

That life can be like a road, and to stick with that metaphor, I’ve been driving down an interstate for a very long time—driving a lot but not really going any place in particular. Now it might be time to take the next exit and start hitting the back roads.


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