Every summer I take a month off of social media. I used to do August, but now that I live in a place where school is in full swing by mid-August, July is a better fit for staying out of the loop. And so tonight I will delete Facebook and Instagram from my phone and not check them again until August. It is amazing how this practice has been a blessing to me. I feel more present in many ways. Still, I miss the connection I have with friends, I miss seeing all the fun pictures, I miss blogging, and I miss the security of knowing if something happens to someone I connect with mostly through social media, I’ll know.
Last summer I did not learn of a tragedy until much later. A beautiful former babysitter of mine, Jessica, died on July 6, 2016. I felt so sick to hear about it after so much time had passed. But even though she babysat for us many times, Jessica and I weren’t close enough where anybody would’ve reached out to tell me. I don’t know if the cause of death was confirmed or not, but it was sudden and details appeared consistent with an accidental overdose, the frequency of which is absolutely terrifying. I knew her life wasn’t staying course in a way that seemed typical or particularly healthy, Even five years ago, I saw a few signs that gave me pause and my husband insisted that I tell her that if she ever needed anything to please come to us (he’s the master of crucial conversations — I sheepishly avoid). And I am grateful that I at least told her, “Listen, if you need anything, you can call me,” but I wish I could’ve done something tangible. I wish someone could’ve reached her. It’s an epidemic in our society that I feel like isn’t talked about nearly enough.
It’s interesting how a death, any death, or even the thought of death, can be so grounding; it immediately realigns our priorities. My mom came home from the hospital on hospice in May and has done remarkably well since then. She has had many visitors, in addition to her faithful regulars. I think people must hear the words “hospice” and “Judy” in the same sentence and think that they need to hightail it over there and spend some time with my fun, sweet, faith-filled mom.
On Wednesday I was sitting by the pool catching up with a friend and she asked about my mom. I told her how well she’s been doing, and how lovely it’s been to have so many friends and relatives come spend time with her.
This friend is an incredibly sweet southern mama and with her angelic, deliberate accent she said, “You know, we should all live like we’re on hospice.”
She’s right. We do not know our day nor hour. We should also live like the people we love are on hospice. It puts so much into perspective. This life is not all there is. It is fleeting. We should make the most of every minute. Not by living like hedonists, but by loving and forgiving with reckless abandon.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
Psalm 103: 13-18
Have a wonderful July living according to these beautiful verses. And if you need me, please email, text or call me.
P.S. This is really random, but I’m hoping to return to work in some capacity this fall, so if you know of a position for which I might be a good fit, I’d love to hear about it!